Chapter 20.80
SUPPLEMENTARY REQUIREMENTS

Sections:

20.80.100    LAMIRD requirements.

20.80.200    Setback requirements. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

20.80.210    Minimum setbacks.

20.80.212    Concurrency.

20.80.215    Setbacks – Off-premises advertising signs.

20.80.220    Use of setback areas.

20.80.230    Measurement of setbacks.

20.80.240    Reserved.

20.80.250    Special setbacks provisions by district.

20.80.251    Residential districts.

20.80.252    Rural District.

20.80.253    Commercial districts.

20.80.254    Industrial districts.

20.80.255    Agriculture District.

20.80.256    Forestry districts. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

20.80.257    Recreation and Open Space District.

20.80.258    All districts. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

20.80.300    Landscaping. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

20.80.310    Purpose.

20.80.315    Scope.

20.80.320    Plans.

20.80.325    Landscaping location and spacing.

20.80.330    Plant sizes at time of planting.

20.80.335    Plant choices.

20.80.340    Existing vegetation.

20.80.345    Buffering plantings.

20.80.350    Parking areas.

20.80.355    Trash or garbage collection storage areas – Screening and placement.

20.80.360    Special requirements for individual zone districts.

20.80.365    Repealed.

20.80.370    Modifications.

20.80.375    Installation and bonding.

20.80.380    Planting and care.

20.80.384    Deleted.

20.80.385    Street planting.

20.80.400    Sign controls.

20.80.410    Signs – General provisions – Applicable to all districts.

20.80.420    Neighborhood Commercial District sign regulations.

20.80.430    Rural General Commercial and General Commercial District sign regulations.

20.80.435    Tourist Commercial District sign regulations.

20.80.440    Small Town Commercial and Resort Commercial District sign regulations.

20.80.450    General Manufacturing, Light and Heavy Impact Industrial, Rural Industrial and Manufacturing, and Airport Operation Districts sign regulations.

20.80.460    Recreation and Open Space District sign regulations.

20.80.465    Urban Residential Mixed (UR-MX) District sign regulations.

20.80.470    Exemptions.

20.80.500    Off-street parking and loading requirements.

20.80.505    General requirements.

20.80.510    Parking space dimensions.

20.80.512    Wheel stop, overhang.

20.80.515    Loading space requirements and dimensions.

20.80.520    Surfacing.

20.80.521    Drainage.

20.80.522    Maintenance.

20.80.523    Lighting.

20.80.525    Location of parking spaces.

20.80.530    Screening and/or landscaping.

20.80.535    Required trash areas.

20.80.540    Nonpermitted storage.

20.80.545    Minimum distance and setbacks.

20.80.550    Joint use.

20.80.555    Wheel blocks.

20.80.560    Width of aisles.

20.80.565    Access.

20.80.570    Circulation.

20.80.575    Striping.

20.80.580    Parking space requirements.

20.80.585    Accessible parking.

20.80.590    General interpretations.

20.80.600    Other development standards.

20.80.610    Deleted.

20.80.620    Noise.

20.80.630    Stormwater and drainage.

20.80.631    Exemptions.

20.80.632    Repealed.

20.80.633    Repealed.

20.80.634    Stormwater conformance.

20.80.635    Stormwater special districts.

20.80.636    Repealed.

20.80.640    Driveways.

20.80.650    Air quality.

20.80.660    All-weather road access.

20.80.670    Docks.

20.80.675    Height limitations surrounding airports.

20.80.680    Unsuitable land.

20.80.690    Marijuana production and processing.

20.80.691    Marijuana state license required.

20.80.692    Application for county development permits – Timing.

20.80.693    Production.

20.80.694    Processing.

20.80.700    Replacement dwellings.

20.80.720    Variances to lot area and width requirements for new subdivisions.

20.80.730    Land clearing.

20.80.731    Purpose.

20.80.732    Applicability.

20.80.733    Exemptions.

20.80.734    General review thresholds.

20.80.735    Water resource special management areas.

20.80.736    Permit approval and inspection process.

20.80.737    Land clearing requirements.

20.80.738    Development moratoria – Implementation, removal and exceptions.

20.80.739    Conversion option harvest plan (COHP).

20.80.740    Posting authorization.

20.80.741    Assurance of performance.

20.80.742    Penalties.

20.80.743    Review fees.

20.80.800    Livestock regulations.

20.80.801    Purpose.

20.80.805    Animal units.

20.80.900    Surface mining registration/inspection procedures.

20.80.950    Mobile home and recreational vehicle park standards.

20.80.970    Home occupation.

20.80.980    Cottage industry.

20.80.100 LAMIRD requirements.

(1) Building Size in Rural Communities. Within areas designated in the Comprehensive Plan as rural community, which are limited areas of more intensive development as described in RCW 36.70A.070(5)(d)(i), permitted maximum building sizes shall be in accordance with building sizes that existed in each area on July 1, 1990, as shown in the following table.

 

Maximum floor area per building, in square feet

(Maximum combined floor area for all buildings, in square feet) 

 

Retail/Office/Restaurant/

Lodging

Storage/

Warehouse

Auto/

Equipment Repair

Public/

Community

Manufacturing/Fabrication

Acme

2,734

(2,734)

2,070

(2,070)

17,784

(21,896)

Axton & Guide Meridian

4,800

(4,800)

2,160

(2,160)

Birch Bay-Lynden & V.V.

2,784

(3,684)

Cain Lake

2,060

(2,060)

2,473

(4,825)

Custer

3,968

(3,968)

3,300

(3,300)

46,451

(46,451)

Deming

11,790

(18,757)

2,400

(2,400)

1,392

(1,392)

30,099

(79,512)

Diablo

513

(513)

 

 

10,872

(10,872)

Glacier

3,500

(7,888)

3,150

(3,150)

Hinotes Corner

6,636

(9,036)

1,500

(1,500)

19,856

(19,856)

Kendall

7,000

(7,000)

3,340

(3,340)

Laurel

10,700

(11,000)

10,260

(10,260)

21,950

(63,360)

17,670

(23,590)

Lummi Peninsula

7,800

(18,540)

7,280

(7,280)

Maple Falls

8,020

(8,020)

4,620

(4,620)

8,822

(10,082)

Newhalem

3,218

(3,218)

4,810

(12,981)

16,284

(28,924)

Nugents Corner

18,221

(19,499)

3,240

(3,240)

Point Roberts

34,704

(34,704)

3,286

(3,286)

11,246

(11,246)

Pole & Guide Meridian

6,400

(6,400)

4,548

(5,556)

4,000

(4,000)

Sandy Point

1,428

(1,428)

Smith & Guide Meridian

5,866

(7,068)

5,900

(5,900)

9,600

(17,100)

22,042

(22,042)

Sudden Valley

6,348

(10,320)

30,140

(44,945)

Van Wyck

3,480

(3,480)

1,904

(1,904)

Wiser Lake

24,690

(24,690)

11,222

(12,374)

2,130

(2,130)

(2) Within areas designated in the Comprehensive Plan as rural community, a public community facility that serves a predominantly rural area may exceed the maximum floor area and maximum combined floor area given for public/community uses in subsection (1) of this section, subject to a conditional use permit per WCC 20.84.200.

(3) Within areas designated in the Comprehensive Plan as rural business, which are limited areas of more intensive development as described in RCW 36.70A.070(5)(d)(iii), new nonresidential uses are subject to a maximum building size of 7,000 square feet, except in the Birch Bay-Lynden/I-5 area where new nonresidential uses are subject to a maximum building size of 12,000 square feet, which is considered “small-scale” relative to existing uses in that area. For buildings in which nonresidential uses existed on July 1, 2012, building size expansion to no greater than 8,000 square feet is permitted, except in the Birch Bay-Lynden/I-5 area, where building size no greater than 20,000 square feet is permitted.

(4) Within a rural business designation, a larger building size for new nonresidential development is permitted if a conditional use permit is granted per WCC 20.84.200. A conditional use permit for a larger building size shall be subject to a finding that:

(a) The larger building size will not cause the need for additional public facilities to be provided in the area;

(b) The proposal is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan policies regarding the rural business designation; and

(c) The proposed small-scale business conforms to the rural character of the area. (Ord. 2015-048 § 1 Exh. A, 2015; Ord. 2012-032 § 2 Exh. B, 2012).

20.80.200 Setback requirements. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)*

(Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013).

*Prior legislation: Ords. 82-58, 84-38, 85-31, 86-20, 86-42, 87-11, 87-12, 88-29, 89-117, 90-22, 90-85, 91-074, 92-094, 96-056 Att. A, §§ S2 – S4.

20.80.210 Minimum setbacks.

(1) All structures, including accessory structures, shall be placed on their lots in compliance with the requirements of the setback table (subsection (5)(b) of this section), except as may otherwise be provided in this title.

(2) Waterfront Lots. Waterfront lots shall comply with the building setback requirements set forth in the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program. (See WCC 20.80.230(2).)

(3) Vision Clearance. Notwithstanding any other setback requirements of this title, and unless specifically provided otherwise, a clear vision area shall be maintained on the corners of all property at the intersection of two streets, a street and an alley, or a street and a railroad.

(a) A clear vision area shall consist of a triangular area, two sides of which are lot lines measured from the corner intersection of the street lot lines for a distance specified in subsection (3)(c) of this section (where the lot has rounded corners, the distance shall be measured from the intersection of those lot lines extended), and the third side of which is a line across the corner of the lot joining the nonintersection ends of the other two sides.

(b) A clear vision area shall contain no planting, fence, wall, obstruction, or temporary or permanent obstruction exceeding two and one-half feet in height, measured from the top of the curb or, where no curb exists, from the established street center line grade; except that trees exceeding this height may be located in this area; provided all branches and foliage are removed to a height of 10 feet above the grade.

(c) The following measurements shall establish clear vision areas:

(i) In a residential zone, the minimum distance shall be 30 feet, or at intersections including an alley, 10 feet;

(ii) In all other zones, the minimum distance shall be 15 feet, or at intersections including an alley, 10 feet, except when the angle of intersection between a street other than an alley is less than 30 degrees, the distance shall be 25 feet;

(iii) Structures including buildings may be constructed within the clear vision area; provided, that any portion of the structure within the clear vision area is more than eight feet above the top of the curb or street center line grade and is supported by not more than two columns each of which is no more than eight inches in diameter.

(4) Properties which are generally located on the Guide Meridian between Horton and Kellogg Roads, and specifically identified in the Guide Meridian Improvement Plan, shall be subject to the provisions of said plan. The provisions of said plan shall supersede this chapter where there is inconsistency.

(5) Setbacks. For the purposes of this chapter, the road classification used to determine setback requirements shall be as set forth in this section. In the event a particular road is not listed in this section, the department of public works shall determine the classification, which classification shall be based on the Whatcom County Development Standards or such other local, state or federal roadway standards as the department of public works deems appropriate. Dead-end or loop streets providing access to 16 or fewer lots shall be classified as minor access streets.

(a) Setback Requirements of All Districts.

(i) No manure lagoon or other open pit storage shall be located closer than 150 feet from any property line, or in a manner which creates any likelihood of ground water pollution or other health hazard.

(ii) All manure storage shall be protected from a 25-year flood and shall be located 50 feet from irrigation ditches and waterways, 50 feet from the ordinary high water line of any lake or waterway; provided, that best management practices as determined by the Whatcom County Conservation District are in place. If the best management practices are not in place, 300 feet shall be substituted for 50 feet.

(iii) In all districts where a single-family residence is a primary permitted use, a building permit may be issued for the construction of a replacement dwelling on the same lot; provided, that the owner agrees by filing a statement with the building official that the old dwelling will be demolished, removed or converted to another permitted use upon completion of the new dwelling.

(iv) A 10-foot setback from the international border between Canada and the United States shall be maintained as an open space vista. The 10-foot setback area may be used for landscaping, agriculture, and natural vegetation. Structures may only be built within the 10-foot setback area after approval from the International Boundary Commission.

(v) Roof overhangs or other architectural features shall not project further than 18 inches into the side or rear yard setbacks. Such overhangs may extend six feet into the front yard setback; however, in no case will they extend more than one-half the depth of the front yard setback; except as provided in WCC 20.51.342 and 20.71.402.

(b) Setbacks Table.

Commercial Setbacks 

General Commercial (GC)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

30'1

30'

25'

25'

25'

20'

0'

10'

1. Setbacks for those parcels situated adjacent to Urban Residential, Rural Cluster Development and Rural Zone Districts shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.62.550 (Buffer area).

Rural General Commercial (RGC)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

30'1

30'

25'

25'

25'

20'

0'

10'

1. Setbacks for those parcels situated adjacent to Agriculture, Urban Residential, Rural Cluster Development, and Rural Zone Districts shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.59.600 (Buffer area).

2. Side and rear yard setbacks shall be 10 feet from vacant, adjacent, commercially zoned properties.

Tourist Commercial (TC)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

30'1

30'

25'

25'

25'

20'

0'

10'

Water Resource Protection Overlay

30'

30'

20'

20'

20'

20'

0'

5'

1. Setbacks for those parcels situated adjacent to Agriculture, Urban Residential, Urban Residential Medium Density, Residential Rural and Rural Zone Districts shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.63.550 (Buffer area).

2. Setback requirements for recreational vehicle parks shall be 30 feet for side and rear yards.

3. Front yard setback requirements for service islands of service stations shall be 25 feet to the center line of the driveway of the closest service island.

Small Town Commercial (STC)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

30'1

30'

25'

25'

25'

20'

0'

10'

1. Commercial uses shall be allowed to reduce front yard setback to 10 feet and the side yard setback to zero feet where the site and landscape plans promote pedestrian access to the building.

2. Side and rear yard setbacks shall be 10 feet from vacant, adjacent, commercially zoned properties.

3. Setbacks for those parcels situated adjacent to Agriculture, Urban Residential, Urban Residential Medium Density, Residential Rural, and Rural Zone Districts shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.61.600 (Buffer area).

Resort Commercial (RC)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

30'

30'

25'

25'

25'

20'

5'

5'

1. Setbacks for those parcels situated adjacent to Urban Residential, Residential Rural and Rural Zone Districts shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.64.550 (Buffer area).

2. Setback requirements for multifamily housing, including all condominiums except time share condominiums and mobile home parks, shall be 20 feet for side and rear yards.

3. Setback requirements for recreational vehicle parks, and resort-oriented hotels and motels including time share condominiums, shall be 45 feet for front yard and 20 feet for side and rear yards.

4. Setback requirements for nonresort-oriented hotels and motels and nonhabitation commercial development shall be zero feet for side yards and 10 feet for rear yards.

5. A 10-foot setback from the international border between Canada and the United States shall be maintained as an open space vista. The 10-foot setback area may be used for landscaping, agriculture, and natural vegetation. Structures may only be built within the 10-foot setback area after approval from the International Boundary Commission.

Neighborhood Commercial (NC)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

25'

25'

25'

25'

25'

20'

0'

10'

Water Resource Protection Overlay

30'

30'

20'

20'

20'

20'

0'

10'

1. Neighborhood Commercial District. Setbacks for those parcels situated adjacent to Agriculture, Urban Residential, Residential Rural and Rural Zone Districts shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.60.550 (Buffer area).

1When located adjacent to I-5 these setbacks may be reduced to 25' subject to the screening requirements under WCC 20.80.300.

 

Industrial Setbacks 

Heavy Impact Industrial (HII)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

100'

100'

100'

100'

100'

30'

30'

30'

1. All setbacks shall be increased by one foot for each foot of building height, excluding tanks and similar structures, which exceeds 50 feet.

2. The building setbacks of WCC 20.80.210 shall not apply to utility or security structures such as poles, meters, fences, guard structures and the like, nor to structures relating to shipment on railroad rights-of-way; provided, that no traffic hazards are created. For nonindustrial buildings, the zoning administrator may reduce or eliminate side and rear yard setbacks from side and rear property lines that are adjoining an industrial district; provided, that all of the following provisions are met:

(i) Screening will be provided to protect adjacent uses from unsightliness or visual distraction;

(ii) A site plan has been submitted that shows that all structures and improvements, including roof overhangs, will not cross property boundaries, and a stormwater management plan has been provided that shows that runoff will be diverted to on-site drainage facilities;

(iii) A reduction in setbacks will not reduce solar access on adjacent properties or if a setback reduction will result in reduced solar access, all parties having an ownership interest in the property adjacent to the side or rear yards to be reduced stipulate in writing, on forms provided by the zoning administrator, to the reductions. The zoning administrator may require a title report to establish the ownership interests in the adjacent property;

(iv) Adjoining properties will be shielded from light sources;

(v) The use and storage of toxic or hazardous materials or processes will not be located within what would otherwise be the setback area unless adequate facilities to contain accidental spills on site consistent with state regulations are provided;

(vi) The reduced setbacks will not interfere with existing sewer, water and other easements; and

(vii) Reduced setbacks will not result in the creation of a traffic hazard nor will the reduced setback create a circumstance that does not comply with WCC 20.80.210(3), Vision Clearance.

3. Setbacks for parcels adjoining a nonindustrial district(s) shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.68.550 (Buffer area) and Policy 1.05 of the Heavy Impact Industrial designation of the Cherry Point-Ferndale Subarea Plan.

4. The setback requirements of the Heavy Industrial District shall apply to the storing and handling of hazardous materials; provided, that if federal and/or state regulations require different setbacks, the greater setback (county, federal or state) shall be used.

5. The zoning administrator may reduce setbacks for nonindustrial buildings to those of Light Impact Industrial if the reduced setbacks would not interfere with existing sewer, water and other easements. A greater reduction in setback requires approval under section (4) of the Heavy Impact Industrial Zone’s setback requirements.

Light Impact Industrial (LII)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

30'

30'

30'

30'

30'

20'

10'

10'

1. All setbacks shall be increased by one foot for each foot of building height, excluding tanks and similar structures, which exceeds 35 feet.

2. The building setbacks of WCC 20.80.210 shall not apply to utility or security structures such as poles, meters, fences, guard structures and the like. In addition, the zoning administrator may reduce side and rear yard setbacks for other structures as provided by section (4) of the Light Impact Industrial Zone’s setback requirements.

3. Setbacks for parcels adjoining a nonindustrial district(s) shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.66.550 (Buffer area).

4. The zoning administrator may reduce or eliminate side and rear yard setbacks from side and rear property lines that are adjoining an industrial district; provided, that the administrator finds that all of the following provisions are met:

(i) Screening will be provided to protect adjacent uses from unsightliness or visual distraction;

(ii) A site plan has been submitted that shows that all structures and improvements, including roof overhangs, will not cross property boundaries, and a stormwater management plan has been provided that shows that runoff will be diverted to on-site drainage facilities;

(iii) A reduction in setbacks will not reduce solar access on adjacent properties or if a setback reduction will result in reduced solar access, all parties having an ownership interest in the property adjacent to the side or rear yards to be reduced stipulate in writing, on forms provided by the zoning administrator, to the reductions. The zoning administrator may require a title report to establish the ownership interests in the adjacent property;

(iv) Adjoining properties will be shielded from light sources;

(v) The use and storage of toxic or hazardous materials or processes will not be located within what would otherwise be the setback area unless adequate facilities to contain accidental spills on site consistent with state regulations are provided;

(vi) The reduced setbacks will not interfere with existing sewer, water and other easements; and

(vii) Reduced setbacks will not result in the creation of a traffic hazard nor will the reduced setback create a circumstance that does not comply with WCC 20.80.210(3), Vision Clearance.

General Manufacturing (GM)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

30'

30'

30'

30'

30'

20'

10'

10'

1. All setbacks shall be increased by one foot for each foot of building height which exceeds 35 feet.

2. The building setbacks of WCC 20.80.210 shall not apply to utility or security structures such as poles, meters, fences, guard structures and the like.

3. Setbacks for parcels adjoining a nonindustrial district(s) shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.67.550 (Buffer area).

4. The zoning administrator may reduce or eliminate side and rear yard setbacks from side and rear property lines that are adjoining an industrial district; provided, that the administrator finds that all of the following provisions are met:

(i) Screening will be provided to protect adjacent uses from unsightliness or visual distraction;

(ii) A site plan has been submitted that shows that all structures and improvements, including roof overhangs, will not cross property boundaries, and a stormwater management plan has been provided that shows that runoff will be diverted to on-site drainage facilities;

(iii) A reduction in setbacks will not reduce solar access on adjacent properties or if a setback reduction will result in reduced solar access, all parties having an ownership interest in the property adjacent to the side or rear yards to be reduced stipulate in writing, on forms provided by the zoning administrator, to the reductions. The zoning administrator may require a title report to establish the ownership interests in the adjacent property;

(iv) Adjoining properties will be shielded from light sources;

(v) The use and storage of toxic or hazardous materials or processes will not be located within what would otherwise be the setback area unless adequate facilities to contain accidental spills on site consistent with state regulations are provided;

(vi) The reduced setbacks will not interfere with existing sewer, water and other easements; and

(vii) Reduced setbacks will not result in the creation of a traffic hazard nor will the reduced setback create a circumstance that does not comply with WCC 20.80.210(3), Vision Clearance.

5. The zoning administrator may reduce setbacks for nonindustrial buildings to those of Light Impact Industrial if the reduced setbacks would not interfere with existing sewer, water and other easements. A greater reduction in setback requires approval under section (4) of the General Manufacturing Zone’s setback requirements.

Gateway Industrial (GI)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

25'

25'

25'

25'

25'

25'

10'

10'

1. Maximum building height shall not exceed 35 feet; except, that an additional foot in height is allowed for each one-foot increase in setback in the yard adjoining the interstate highway up to 45 feet in Map 3 of the Urban Fringe Subarea. Height of structures, where applicable, shall also conform to the general requirements of WCC 20.80.675.

Airport Operations (AO)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

30'

30'

30'

30'

30'

20'

10'

10'

1. Setbacks for parcels adjoining a nonindustrial district shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.70.550 (Buffer area).

2. The zoning administrator may reduce or eliminate side and rear yard setbacks from side and rear property lines that are adjoining an industrial district; provided, that the administrator finds that all of the following provisions are met:

(i) Screening will be provided to protect adjacent uses from unsightliness or visual distraction;

(ii) A site plan has been submitted that shows that all structures and improvements, including roof overhangs, will not cross property boundaries, and a stormwater management plan has been provided that shows that runoff will be diverted to on-site drainage facilities;

(iii) A reduction in setbacks will not reduce solar access on adjacent properties or if a setback reduction will result in reduced solar access, all parties having an ownership interest in the property adjacent to the side or rear yards to be reduced stipulate in writing, on forms provided by the zoning administrator, to the reductions. The zoning administrator may require a title report to establish the ownership interests in the adjacent property;

(iv) Adjoining properties will be shielded from light sources;

(v) The use and storage of toxic or hazardous materials or processes will not be located within what would otherwise be the setback area unless adequate facilities to contain accidental spills on site consistent with state regulations are provided;

(vi) The reduced setbacks will not interfere with existing sewer, water and other easements; and

(vii) Reduced setbacks will not result in the creation of a traffic hazard nor will the reduced setback create a circumstance that does not comply with WCC 20.80.210(3), Vision Clearance.

Rural Industrial – Manufacturing (RIM)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

30'

30'

30'

30'

30'

20'

10'

10'

1. Setbacks for parcels adjoining a nonindustrial district(s) shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.69.550 (Buffer area).

 

Resource Lands Setbacks 

Agricultural (AG)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

50'

50'

50'

50'

50'

50'

20'

20'

1. The 50-foot front yard setback requirement for new buildings or additions may be waived if the zoning administrator finds the new building or addition is located along the same building line(s) of existing structures and will result in no additional encroachment and the public interest, safety and health are protected; provided, that for a new building the applicant shall also demonstrate that the proposed location is necessary for the economic viability and the continued operation of the agricultural use.

2. The minimum separation between new residences not located on the same property and farm uses such as barns, pens, milking sheds, or areas used to contain, house or feed animals or store manure or feed shall be 300 feet. New farm uses such as barns, pens, milking sheds, or areas used to contain, house or feed animals or store manure or feed shall be situated at least 150 feet from existing residences not located on the same property. Expansion of existing facilities within the 150-foot buffer, providing such expansion is not closer to a neighbor’s residence, and pastures are excluded from this section’s requirements.

3. Parcels of less than five nominal acres shall have the following minimum setbacks:

Front yards:

– Primary arterials and secondary arterials: 45 feet.

– Collector arterials: 35 feet.

– Neighborhood collectors, local access streets: 25 feet.

– Minor access streets: 20 feet.

Minimum front yard requirements can be reduced by the zoning administrator for boundary line adjustments or farmstead parcels established through WCC 20.40.253 and 20.40.254 if the proposed placement of the structures will result in a better fit with critical areas or prime soils and goes through the approval process in Chapter 21.03 WCC. In no case shall front yard depth be less than 20 feet.

Side yards: minimum side yard setbacks shall be five feet. For boundary line adjustments or farmstead parcels established through WCC 20.40.253 and 20.40.254, the exterior side yard and exterior rear yard requirements of habitable structures shall be 30 feet.

Rear yards: minimum rear yard setbacks shall be five feet.

4. A marijuana production or processing facility shall not be located within 1,000 feet of a community center. The distance shall be measured as the shortest straight line distance from the property line of the proposed building/business location to the property line of the community center. The zoning administrator may waive this spacing requirement from community centers if the authorized representatives of all existing community centers within 1,000 feet provide a notarized written agreement as provided by the department consenting to the facility and the waiver is approved through an administrative approval process per WCC 20.84.235.

5. A marijuana production or processing facility shall not be located within 300 feet of any existing residential unit not located on the same parcel as the facility. The distance shall be measured as the shortest straight line distance from the closest point of a single-family dwelling (structure) to any structure or fence used for the production or processing of marijuana. The zoning administrator may waive this spacing requirement from residential units if the owners of all existing residential units within 300 feet provide a notarized written agreement as provided by the department consenting to the facility, and the waiver is approved through an administrative approval process per WCC 20.84.235.

6. A 10-foot setback from the international border between Canada and the United States shall be maintained as an open space vista. The 10-foot setback area may be used for landscaping, agriculture, and natural vegetation. Structures may only be built within the 10-foot setback area after approval from the International Boundary Commission.

Commercial Forestry (CF)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

45'

35'

25'

25'

25'

20'

100'

100'

Water Resource Protection Overlay

30'

30'

20'

20'

20'

20'

100'

100'

1. Parcels utilized solely for community centers shall observe the following minimum setback requirements: front yard: 50 feet; side yard: 25 feet; rear yard: 25 feet.

Rural Forestry (RF)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

45'

35'

25'

25'

25'

20'

20'

20'

Water Resource Protection Overlay

30'

30'

20'

20'

20'

20'

20'

20'

1. Setbacks shall be increased to 100 feet for those parcels in the Rural Forestry Zone situated adjacent to the Commercial Forestry Zone, except that such parcels whose owners have filed an agreement with the county auditor as specified in WCC 20.42.651 shall be subject to the standard setback of the Rural Forestry Zone. Forest industry buildings, stationary equipment or storage areas excluding scaling stations and watchman’s stations shall not be located within 100 feet of any other zone district.

2. Parcels utilized solely for community centers shall observe the following minimum setback requirements: front yard: 50 feet; side yard: 25 feet; rear yard: 25 feet.

3. When a permitted residence (WCC 20.42.056) adjoins an existing parcel of 20 acres or more in size or a parcel that is being cultivated for commercial forestry production, a minimum building setback of 100 feet shall be established from the common property line.

4. Lummi Island scenic estates setbacks shall be administered under the Rural Residential Island setback standards.

5. A 10-foot setback from the international border between Canada and the United States shall be maintained as an open space vista. The 10-foot setback area may be used for landscaping, agriculture, and natural vegetation. Structures may only be built within the 10-foot setback area after approval from the International Boundary Commission.

6. A marijuana production or processing facility shall not be located within 1,000 feet of a community center. The distance shall be measured as the shortest straight line distance from the property line of the proposed building/business location to the property line of the community center. The zoning administrator may waive this spacing requirement from community centers if the authorized representatives of all existing community centers within 1,000 feet provide a notarized written agreement as provided by the department consenting to the facility and the waiver is approved through an administrative approval process per WCC 20.84.235.

7. A marijuana production or processing facility shall not be located within 300 feet of any existing residential unit not located on the same parcel as the facility. The distance shall be measured as the shortest straight line distance from the closest point of a single-family dwelling (structure) to any structure or fence used for the production or processing of marijuana. The zoning administrator may waive this spacing requirement from residential units if the owners of all existing residential units within 300 feet provide a notarized written agreement as provided by the department consenting to the facility, and the waiver is approved through an administrative approval process per WCC 20.84.235.

 

Rural Residential Setbacks 

Residential Rural (RR)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

45'

35'

25'

25'

25'

20'

5'1

5'

Water Resource Protection Overlay

30'

30'

20'

20'

20'

20'

5'

5'

1. Setbacks shall be increased to 100 feet for those parcels situated adjacent to the Forestry Zone District, except that such parcels whose owners have filed an agreement with the county auditor as specified in WCC 20.32.651 shall be subject to the standard setback in WCC 20.80.210.

2. A 10-foot setback from the international border between Canada and the United States shall be maintained as an open space vista. The 10-foot setback area may be used for landscaping, agriculture, and natural vegetation. Structures may only be built within the 10-foot setback area after approval from the International Boundary Commission.

Rural Residential-Island (RR-I)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

25'

25'

25'

20'

5'

5'

1. Residential Rural-Island District. Setbacks shall be increased to 100 feet for those parcels situated adjacent to the Forestry Zone Districts, except that such parcels whose owners have filed an agreement with the county auditor as specified in WCC 20.42.651 shall be subject to the standard setback in WCC 20.80.210.

Point Roberts Transitional Zone (TZ)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

45'

35'

25'

25'

25'

20'

5'

5'

No additional standards.

1Zero lot line side yard setbacks may be approved by the zoning administrator for single-family attached dwelling units along the common property line where the dwellings share a common wall.

 

Rural Zoning Setbacks 

Rural (R)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

45'

45'

35'

25'

25'

20'

5'

5'

Water Resource Protection Overlay

30'

30'

20'

20'

20'

20'

5'

5'

1. Setbacks shall be increased to 100 feet for those parcels situated adjacent to the Commercial Forestry Zone District, except that such parcels whose owners have filed an agreement with the county auditor as specified in WCC 20.36.651 shall be subject to the standard setback in WCC 20.80.210.

2. Lots created after 2001 through the cluster provisions, or lots created through the APO provisions which will be used for human habitation, shall be set back a minimum of 100 feet from the property line of any parcel or portion thereof which is designated or used for agricultural purposes. No structures shall be constructed within 30 feet of exterior, side and rear property lines, and no structure shall be constructed within 30 feet of an agricultural use. Subject to any further requirements within Chapter 20.38 WCC, Agriculture Protection Overlay.

3. A 10-foot setback from the international border between Canada and the United States shall be maintained as an open space vista. The 10-foot setback area may be used for landscaping, agriculture, and natural vegetation. Structures may only be built within the 10-foot setback area after approval from the International Boundary Commission.

4. A marijuana production or processing facility shall not be located within 1,000 feet of a community center. The distance shall be measured as the shortest straight line distance from the property line of the proposed building/business location to the property line of the community center. The zoning administrator may waive this spacing requirement from community centers if the authorized representatives of all existing community centers within 1,000 feet provide a notarized written agreement as provided by the department consenting to the facility.

5. A marijuana production or processing facility shall not be located within 300 feet of any existing residential unit not located on the same parcel as the facility. The distance shall be measured as the shortest straight line distance from the closest point of a single-family dwelling (structure) to any structure or fence used for the production or processing of marijuana. The zoning administrator may waive this spacing requirement from residential units if the owners of all existing residential units within 300 feet provide a notarized written agreement as provided by the department consenting to the facility, and the waiver is approved through an administrative approval process per WCC 20.84.235.

 

Urban Residential Setbacks 

Urban Residential Mixed Use (UR-MX)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

45'

35'

25'

10'

10'

10'

5'

5'

Water Resource Protection Overlay

30'

30'

20'

20'

20'

20'

5'

5'

1. No specific setback requirements shall apply to a planned concept submitted for technical committee review. This provision could be used, for example, to allow zero-lot-line development.

Urban Residential Medium (URM)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

45'

35'

25'

25'

25'

20'

5'

5'

Water Resource Protection Overlay

30'

30'

20'

20'

20'

20'

5'

5'

1. Setback requirements for mobile home parks shall be 20 feet from the perimeter of the park for side and rear yards and shall be screened from neighboring uses in accordance with WCC 20.80.345.

Urban Residential (UR)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

45'

35'

25'

25'

25'

20'

5'1

5'

Water Resource Protection Overlay

30'

30'

20'

20'

20'

20'

5'

5'

1. Setbacks shall be increased to 100 feet for those parcels situated adjacent to the Forestry Zone District, except that such parcels which are less than 20,000 square feet in a subdivision approved prior to January 1, 1987, and whose owners have filed an agreement with the county auditor as specified in WCC 20.20.651, shall be subject to the standard setback in WCC 20.80.210.

2. A 10-foot setback from the international border between Canada and the United States shall be maintained as an open space vista. The 10-foot setback area may be used for landscaping, agriculture, and natural vegetation. Structures may only be built within the 10-foot setback area after approval from the International Boundary Commission.

1Zero lot line side yard setbacks may be approved by the zoning administrator for single-family attached dwelling units along the common property line where the dwellings share a common wall.

 

Other Zoning Setbacks 

Recreation Open Space (ROS)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

100'

100'

50'

50'

50'

50'

50'

50'

1. Parcels utilized solely for community centers shall observe the following minimum setback requirements: front yard: 50 feet; side yard: 25 feet; rear yard: 25 feet.

2. Shoreline setbacks shall be administered consistent with the Shoreline Management Program of Whatcom County; provided, that a 25-foot setback is maintained from the ordinary high water mark of all water bodies and a 50-foot setback is maintained from the ordinary high water mark of fish spawn streams.

3. A 10-foot setback from the international border between Canada and the United States shall be maintained as an open space vista. The 10-foot setback area may be used for landscaping, agriculture, and natural vegetation. Structures may only be built within the 10-foot setback area after approval from the International Boundary Commission.

Water Resource Protection Overlay (WRPO)

Road Type

Other

Commercial, Industrial, I-5, State Hwys, Principal & Minor Arterials

Collector Arterials or Major Collectors

Minor Collectors

Local Access Streets

Neighborhood Collector

Minor Access Streets

Side Yard

Rear Yard

30'

30'

20'

20'

20'

20'

See underlying zoning1

See underlying zoning1

1. No additional standards.

1Refer to additional provisions of WCC 20.64.250 or 20.65.400.

(Ord. 2017-038 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2017-030 § 1 (Exh. V), 2017; Ord. 2016-035 § 1 (Exh. A), 2016; Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exhs. E, P), 2016; Ord. 2015-006 Exh. A, 2015; Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2013-040 Exh. 1, 2013; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 2010-019 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2009-023 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 2003-048 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2001-062 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2001-024 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-080, 1999; Ord. 99-012 § 1(3), 1999; Ord. 97-046 § 3, 1997; Ord. 96-056 Att. A § S1, 1996; Ord. 94-010, 1994; Ord. 89-117, 1989; Ord. 88-29, 1988; Ord. 87-65, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987; Ord. 85-100, 1985; Ord. 85-38, 1985; Ord. 85-31, 1985; Ord. 84-38, 1984; Ord. 82-58, 1982).

20.80.212 Concurrency.

No subdivision, commercial development or conditional uses shall be approved without a written finding that:

(1) All providers of water, sewage disposal, schools, and fire protection serving the development have issued a letter that adequate capacity exists or arrangements have been made to provide adequate services for the development.

(2) No county facilities will be reduced below applicable levels of service as a result of the development. (Ord. 98-083 Exh. A § 58, 1998).

20.80.215 Setbacks – Off-premises advertising signs.

Off-premises advertising signs shall be subject to the following setbacks. WCC 20.80.210 shall not apply.

(1) No portion of a sign shall be placed within 15 feet of any right-of-way except as provided in subsection (3) of this section.

(2) Minimum side and rear yard setbacks shall be 10 feet except where they abut a right-of-way.

(3) Off-premises advertising signs oriented towards Interstate 5 may be up to within five feet of the interstate right-of-way when approved by all agencies having jurisdiction.

(4) No off-premises advertising sign shall be within 500 feet of any residence or residential zoning or within 1,000 feet of any church, school, cemetery, park, open space designation or historical landmark.

(5) No off-premises advertising sign shall be within 50 feet of any intersection. (Ord. 99-080, 1999; Ord. 90-66 § 1, 1990).

20.80.220 Use of setback areas.

All setback measurements are minimum requirements. All front yard and rear yard setback areas shall be open from side-to-side of the lot except as otherwise provided by the following:

(1) Front Yards.

(a) Uncovered patios, driveways, walkways, vegetation, pools, recreation equipment, and fences and walls up to four feet in height, and propane tanks with fuel capacities up to 500 gallons may be placed in this front yard setback area subject to the limitations of WCC 20.80.210(3) regarding vision clearance; and provided, that the following applies:

(i) The location of propane tanks with fuel capacities up to 500 gallons is restricted to the rear 50 percent of front yard setbacks. All such propane tanks shall be:

(A) Inspected and approved by the Whatcom County fire marshal for compliance with Article 82 of the most currently adopted Uniform Fire Code and, when required by the fire marshal, isolated from other uses by a noncombustible wall or fence; and

(B) Encourage screening by a fence or with shrub vegetation planted to a minimum height of six inches above the top surface of the propane tank; and

(C) Located so as not to interfere or obstruct sight distances for vehicular traffic.

(b) Signs approved for use in a front yard area shall be subject to the limitations of WCC 20.80.410 and/or WCC 20.80.215 as applicable.

(c) Fences, walls or vegetative hedges greater than four feet in height up to a maximum of six feet in height may be located within the front yard setback area subject to the limitations of WCC 20.80.210(3) regarding vision clearance and provided both of the following apply:

(i) The additional height does not obstruct or impair visual corridors of surrounding properties and sight distances of vehicular traffic;

(ii) The additional height is determined by the administrator to be necessary in order to provide security and/or privacy to the particular use activity by reason of one or more of the following:

(A) The property’s immediate location next to public access areas; or

(B) A determination by the administrator that the property and/or its facilities and amenities are both attractive to the general public, and intended for the exclusive use of its residents and/or patrons; or

(C) A determination by the administrator that the additional height is needed to protect the public health, safety and general welfare.

(2) Rear Yards. Uncovered patios, driveways, walkways, vegetation, pools, recreation equipment, open parking spaces, fences and walls up to seven feet in height, and structures housing accessory uses in Urban Residential, Residential Rural, Rural and Agricultural Zone Districts may be placed in the rear yard; provided, that an open space of at least eight feet is maintained between any structure housing such accessory use and any other building on that lot.

(3) Side yards must be kept open; provided, that uncovered patios, driveways, walkways, vegetation, pools, parking areas, recreational equipment, and fences and walls up to seven feet in height may be placed in the side yard. (Ord. 2001-002 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-080, 1999).

20.80.230 Measurement of setbacks.

(1) Front Yard. The requisite minimum front yard setback line shall be measured from the edge of the abutting road right-of-way (front property line). For corner lots, the appropriate abutting road right-of-way shall be determined as provided in subsection (3) of this section. The property owner shall bear the responsibility for correctly locating the edge of the abutting road right-of-way from which the measurement is to be taken.

(2) Shoreline Areas. In situations where the shoreline setback(s) imposed by the Shoreline Management Program exceed the standard rear and/or side yard setbacks imposed by this chapter, the front yard setback(s) shall apply to the waterfront side(s) of the lot or tract and the rear yard setback shall apply to the street side of the lot or tract; provided, however, the zoning administrator may waive the setback reversal requirement of this section upon request of the property owner if he finds that the public interest will not be harmed; provided further, that the minimum setback on the street side of parcels abutting collector and arterial roadways shall be 20 feet.

(3) Corner Lots. For corner lots, the front yard shall be that yard which abuts a collector or arterial road. In the case of two or more roads being designated collectors or arterials, the front yard shall abut the road with the higher classification. If neither of the roads are designated collectors or arterials or if they have equal classifications, the owner/builder shall have the option of selecting the front yard. The zoning administrator may override this decision in special circumstances involving public safety. Yards on the other flanking roads may be considered side yards except that for collectors or arterials the minimum setback shall be no less than one-half of the road setback required for the road type in WCC 20.80.210.

(4) Through Lots. For through lots, the front yard shall be determined the same way as for corner lots per subsection (3) of this section except as provided:

(a) If a plat note, county code, or county development regulation prohibits vehicular access from a through lot onto one of the roads, the front yard setback shall be taken from the road where vehicular access is obtained. The yard on the other flanking non-accessed road shall be considered the rear yard for setback measurements except when the road is a collector or arterial, in which case the minimum setback shall be no less than one-half of the setback required for the road type in WCC 20.80.210. The zoning administrator may reduce the rear yard setback along a non-accessed collector or arterial to less than one-half the front yard setback distance required for the road type in WCC 20.80.210 if:

(i) The reduced setback is no less than the smallest setback for existing residences on nearby lots along the same frontage,

(ii) The reduced setback is no less than 10 feet, and

(iii) The public interest, safety and health are protected. The zoning administrator shall recognize input provided by other officials, departments, and divisions having appropriate expertise prior to approving a reduced setback. (Ord. 2017-030 § 1 (Exh. O), 2017; Ord. 2014-030 § 1 Exh. A, 2014; Ord. 99-080, 1999).

20.80.240 Reserved.

(Ord. 99-080, 1999).

20.80.250 Special setback provisions by district.

20.80.251 Residential districts.

(1) Urban Residential District. Setbacks shall be increased to 100 feet for those parcels situated adjacent to Forestry Zone Districts, except that such parcels which are less than 20,000 square feet in a subdivision approved prior to January 1, 1987, and whose owners have filed an agreement with the county auditor as specified in WCC 20.20.651 shall be subject to the standard setback in WCC 20.80.210.

(2) Residential Rural District. Setbacks shall be increased to 100 feet for those parcels situated adjacent to Forestry Zone Districts, except that such parcels whose owners have filed an agreement with the county auditor as specified in WCC 20.32.651 shall be subject to the standard setback in WCC 20.80.210.

(3) Urban Residential Medium Density District. Setback requirements for mobile home parks shall be 20 feet from the perimeter of the park for side and rear yards and shall be screened from neighboring uses in accordance with WCC 20.80.345.

(4) Residential Rural-Island District. Setbacks shall be increased to 100 feet for those parcels situated adjacent to Forestry Zone Districts, except that such parcels whose owners have filed an agreement with the county auditor as specified in WCC 20.34.651 shall be subject to the standard setback in WCC 20.80.210. (Ord. 2015-006 Exh. A, 2015; Ord. 99-080, 1999; Ord. 99-058, 1999).

20.80.252 Rural District.

(1) Rural District Setbacks. Setbacks shall be increased to 100 feet for those parcels situated adjacent to the Commercial Forestry Zone District, except that such parcels whose owners have filed an agreement with the county auditor as specified in WCC 20.36.651 shall be subject to the standard setback in WCC 20.80.210.

(2) A marijuana production or processing facility shall not be located within 1,000 feet of a community center. The distance shall be measured as the shortest straight line distance from the property line of the proposed building/business location to the property line of the community center. The zoning administrator may waive this spacing requirement from community centers if the authorized representatives of all existing community centers within 1,000 feet provide a notarized written agreement as provided by the department consenting to the facility.

(3) A marijuana production or processing facility shall not be located within 300 feet of any existing residential unit not located on the same parcel as the facility. The distance shall be measured as the shortest straight line distance from the closest point of a single-family dwelling (structure) to any structure or fence used for the production or processing of marijuana. The zoning administrator may waive this spacing requirement from residential units if the owners of all existing residential units within 300 feet provide a notarized written agreement as provided by the department consenting to the facility, and the waiver is approved through an administrative approval process per WCC 20.84.235. (Ord. 2017-038 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2015-006 Exh. A, 2015; Ord. 99-080, 1999).

20.80.253 Commercial districts.

(1) Neighborhood Commercial District. Setbacks for those parcels situated adjacent to Urban Residential, Residential Rural and Rural Zone Districts shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.60.550 (Buffer area).

(2) General Commercial District. Setbacks for those parcels situated adjacent to Urban Residential, Rural Cluster Development and Rural Zone Districts shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.62.550 (Buffer area).

(3) Tourist Commercial District.

(a) Setbacks for those parcels situated adjacent to Urban Residential, Urban Residential Medium Density, Residential Rural and Rural Zone Districts shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.63.550 (Buffer area).

(b) Setback requirements for recreational vehicle parks shall be 30 feet for side and rear yards.

(c) Front yard setback requirements for service islands of service stations shall be 25 feet to the center line of the driveway of the closest service island.

(4) Resort Commercial District.

(a) Setbacks for those parcels situated adjacent to Urban Residential, Residential Rural and Rural Zone Districts shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.64.550 (Buffer area).

(b) Setback requirements for multifamily housing, including all condominiums except time share condominiums and mobile home parks, shall be 20 feet for side and rear yards.

(c) Setback requirements for recreational vehicle parks, and resort-oriented hotels and motels including time share condominiums shall be 45 feet for front yard, and 20 feet for side and rear yards.

(d) Setback requirements for nonresort-oriented hotels and motels and nonhabitation commercial development shall be zero feet for side yards and 10 feet for rear yards. (Ord. 99-080, 1999).

20.80.254 Industrial districts.

(1) Light Impact Industrial District.

(a) All setbacks shall be increased by one foot for each foot of building height which exceeds 35 feet.

(b) The building setbacks of WCC 20.80.210 shall not apply to utility or security structures such as poles, meters, fences, guard structures and the like. In addition, the zoning administrator may reduce side and rear yard setbacks for other structures as provided by subsection (1)(d) of this section.

(c) Setbacks for parcels adjoining a nonindustrial district(s) shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.66.550 (Buffer Area).

(d) The zoning administrator may reduce or eliminate side and rear yard setbacks from side and rear property lines that are adjoining an industrial district; provided, that the administrator finds that all of the following provisions are met:

(i) Screening will be provided to protect adjacent uses from unsightliness or visual distraction;

(ii) A site plan has been submitted that shows that all structures and improvements including roof overhangs will not cross property boundaries, and a stormwater management plan has been provided that shows that runoff will be diverted to on-site drainage facilities;

(iii) A reduction in setbacks will not reduce solar access on adjacent properties or if a setback reduction will result in reduced solar access, all parties having an ownership interest in the property adjacent to the side or rear yards to be reduced stipulate in writing, on forms provided by the zoning administrator, to the reductions. The zoning administrator may require a title report to establish the ownership interests in the adjacent property;

(iv) Adjoining properties will be shielded from light sources;

(v) The use and storage of toxic or hazardous materials or processes will not be located within what would otherwise be the setback area unless adequate facilities to contain accidental spills on-site consistent with state regulations are provided;

(vi) The reduced setbacks will not interfere with existing sewer, water and other easements; and

(vii) Reduced setbacks will not result in the creation of a traffic hazard nor will the reduced setback create a circumstance that does not comply with WCC 20.80.210(3), Vision Clearance.

(2) General Manufacturing District.

(a) All setbacks shall be increased by one foot for each foot of building height which exceeds 35 feet.

(b) The building setbacks of WCC 20.80.210 shall not apply to utility or security structures such as poles, meters, fences, guard structures and the like.

(c) Setbacks for parcels adjoining a nonindustrial district(s) shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.67.550 (Buffer Area).

(d) The provisions of subsection (1)(d) of this section may be applied to side and rear yard setbacks in the General Manufacturing District.

(e) The zoning administrator may reduce setbacks for nonindustrial buildings to those of Light Impact Industrial if the reduced setbacks would not interfere with existing sewer, water and other easements. A greater reduction in setback requires approval under subsection (2)(d) of this section.

(3) Heavy Impact Industrial District.

(a) All setbacks shall be increased by one foot for each foot of building height, excluding tanks and similar structures, which exceeds 50 feet.

(b) The building setbacks of WCC 20.80.210 shall not apply to utility or security structures such as poles, meters, fences, guard structures and the like, nor to structures relating to shipment on railroad rights-of-way; provided, that no traffic hazards are created. For nonindustrial buildings, the provisions of subsection (2)(e) of this section shall apply.

(c) Setbacks for parcels adjoining a nonindustrial district(s) shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.68.550 (Buffer Area) and Policy 1.05 of the Heavy Impact Industrial designation of the Cherry Point-Ferndale Subarea Plan.

(d) The setback requirements of the Heavy Impact Industrial District shall apply to the storing and handling of hazardous materials; provided, that if federal and/or state regulations require different setbacks, the greater setback (county, federal, or state) shall be used.

(e) The zoning administrator may reduce setbacks for nonindustrial buildings to those of Light Impact Industrial if the reduced setbacks would not interfere with existing sewer, water and other easements. A greater reduction in setback requires approval under subsection (3)(d) of this section.

(4) Airport Operations District.

(a) Setbacks for parcels adjoining a nonindustrial district shall be administered pursuant to WCC 20.70.550 (Buffer Area).

(b) The provisions of subsection (1)(d) of this section may be applied to side and rear yard setbacks in the Airport Operation District. (Ord. 2003-029 § 1 (Att. A § 7), 2003; Ord. 99-080, 1999).

20.80.255 Agriculture District.

(1) The 50-foot front yard setback requirement for new buildings or additions may be waived if the zoning administrator finds the new building or addition is located along the same building line(s) of existing structures and will result in no additional encroachment, and the public interest, safety and health are protected; provided, that for a new building the applicant shall also demonstrate that the proposed location is necessary for the economic viability and the continued operation of the agricultural use.

(2) The minimum separation between new residences not located on the same property and farm uses such as barns, pens, milking sheds, packinghouses and slaughterhouses, or areas used to contain, house or feed animals or store manure or feed, shall be 300 feet. New farm uses such as barns, pens, milking sheds, or areas used to contain, house or feed animals or store manure or feed shall be situated at least 150 feet from existing residences not located on the same property. Expansion of existing facilities within the 150-foot buffer, providing such expansion is not closer to a neighbor’s residence, and pastures are excluded from this section’s requirements.

(3) The minimum separation between packinghouses/slaughterhouses and schools shall be 500 feet.

(4) The minimum separation between packinghouses/slaughterhouses and adjacent property lines shall be 150 feet.

(5) A marijuana production or processing facility shall not be located within 1,000 feet of a community center. The distance shall be measured as the shortest straight line distance from the property line of the proposed building/business location to the property line of the community center. The zoning administrator may waive this spacing requirement from community centers if the authorized representatives of all existing community centers within 1,000 feet provide a notarized written agreement as provided by the department consenting to the facility and the waiver is approved through an administrative approval process per WCC 20.84.235.

(6) A marijuana production or processing facility shall not be located within 300 feet of any existing residential unit not located on the same parcel as the facility. The distance shall be measured as the shortest straight line distance from the closest point of a single-family dwelling (structure) to any structure or fence used for the production or processing of marijuana. The zoning administrator may waive this spacing requirement from residential units if the owners of all existing residential units within 300 feet provide a notarized written agreement as provided by the department consenting to the facility, and the waiver is approved through an administrative approval process per WCC 20.84.235. (Ord. 2017-038 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2015-006 Exh. A, 2015; Ord. 2014-041 Exh. A, 2014; Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2013-051 Exh. A, 2013; Ord. 2013-040 Exh. 1, 2013; Ord. 2001-020 § 1 (Exh. 1 § 2), 2001; Ord. 99-080, 1999).

20.80.256 Forestry districts. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

(1) Setbacks shall be increased to 100 feet for those parcels in the Rural Forestry Zone situated adjacent to the Commercial Forestry Zone, except that such parcels whose owners have filed an agreement with the county auditor as specified in WCC 20.42.651 shall be subject to the standard setback in WCC 20.80.210. Forest industry buildings, stationary equipment or storage areas excluding scaling stations and watchman’s stations shall not be located within 100 feet of any other zone district.

(2) Parcels utilized solely for community centers shall observe the following minimum setback requirements: front yard: 50 feet; side yard: 25 feet; rear yard: 25 feet.

(3) Where a parcel had been created pursuant to the rural forestry district’s clustering provision or when a permitted residence (WCC 20.42.056), adjoins an existing parcel of 20 acres or more in size or a parcel that is being cultivated for commercial forestry production, a minimum building setback of 100 feet shall be established from the common property line.

(4) For parcels of less than five nominal acres, unless the provisions of subsection (2) of this section are applicable, the zoning setback established by the zoning district shall be observed.

(5) In the Rural Forestry Zone, a marijuana production or processing facility shall not be located within 1,000 feet of a community center. The distance shall be measured as the shortest straight line distance from the property line of the proposed building/business location to the property line of the community center. The zoning administrator may waive this spacing requirement from community centers if the authorized representatives of all existing community centers within 1,000 feet provide a notarized written agreement as provided by the department consenting to the facility and the waiver is approved through an administrative approval process per WCC 20.84.235.

(6) In the Rural Forestry Zone, a marijuana production or processing facility shall not be located within 300 feet of any existing residential unit not located on the same parcel as the facility. The distance shall be measured as the shortest straight line distance from the closest point of a single-family dwelling (structure) to any structure or fence used for the production or processing of marijuana. The zoning administrator may waive this spacing requirement from residential units if the owners of all existing residential units within 300 feet provide a notarized written agreement as provided by the department consenting to the facility, and the waiver is approved through an administrative approval process per WCC 20.84.235. (Ord. 2017-038 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. N), 2016; Ord. 2015-006 Exh. A, 2015; Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 99-080, 1999; Ord. 99-058, 1999).

20.80.257 Recreation and Open Space District.

(1) Parcels utilized solely for community centers shall observe the following minimum setback requirements: front yard: 50 feet; side yard: 25 feet; rear yard: 25 feet.

(2) Shoreline setbacks shall be administered consistent with the Shoreline Management Program of Whatcom County; provided, that a 25-foot setback is maintained from the ordinary high water mark of all water bodies and a 50-foot setback is maintained from the ordinary high water mark of fish spawn streams. (Ord. 99-080, 1999).

20.80.258 All districts. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

(1) No manure lagoon or other open pit storage shall be located closer than 150 feet from any property line, or in a manner which creates any likelihood of ground water pollution or other health hazard.

(2) All manure storage shall be protected from a 25-year flood; and shall be located 50 feet from irrigation ditches and waterways, 50 feet from the ordinary high water line of any lake or waterway; provided, that best management practices as determined by the Whatcom County Conservation District are in place. If the best management practices are not in place, 300 feet shall be substituted for 50 feet. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 99-080, 1999).

20.80.300 Landscaping. (Adopted by reference in WCCP Chapter 2.)

(Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016; Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013).

20.80.310 Purpose.

The purpose of this section is to provide minimum landscape development and buffering requirements in order to maintain and protect property values, enhance the appearance of development by softening the impact of structures, protect the aesthetic assets of the community, provide screening between incompatible land uses, reduce erosion and stormwater runoff, provide pervious surfacing to allow natural ground water recharge, promote energy conservation and use of solar energy, reduce heat and air and noise pollution, and promote safety through reduced glare and reduction of congestion and visual separation of traffic movement. The landscaping standards in this chapter are minimum requirements. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013).

20.80.315 Scope.

This section shall apply to all permitted and conditional uses except as specifically listed below. It will apply to mobile home parks and recreational vehicle parks to augment the standards found in WCC 20.80.950; in the case of conflicts the more restrictive regulations shall apply. Remodeling projects representing 50 percent of the assessed valuation of the structure are also covered by this section, but with the requirements modified as needed to fit the existing situation. Major conversions of use such as bed and breakfast establishments from single-family houses if five or more parking stalls are required are also included.

This section does not apply to:

(1) Farms and accessory uses associated with farming;

(2) Single-family houses and duplexes and their accessory uses when not developed as part of an overall complex;

(3) Subdivision(s), short subdivision(s) and binding site plans;

(4) Remodels representing less than 50 percent of the assessed valuation of the structure;

(5) Conversions of uses requiring less than five parking stalls. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 99-045 § 1, 1999).

20.80.320 Plans.

Prior to the issuance of a building permit a scaled landscape site plan shall be submitted to and approved by the land use division of planning and development services consistent with the provisions herein. This plan shall specify species name, size and location of all proposed plant materials and all existing trees over eight inches in caliper including those to be removed which shall be indicated. Existing trees which are part of a cluster of trees need not be individually identified. An irrigation plan or specified method of watering and the type and location of all proposed lighting shall also be included. Existing plants or native species which may need no watering should be so noted. The plan shall specify the treatment of the soil to protect its structure including method of protecting existing trees to remain and their root zones. The preferred scale of a plan shall be one inch equals 20 feet; but other scales may be used if approved by the zoning administrator, adequate detail can be conveyed and the scales correlate to other required site plans. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013).

20.80.325 Landscaping location and spacing.

All required open space or any areas of the property not committed to a use requiring pervious surface must be landscaped. This may consist of any combination of trees, lawn, ground cover and shrubs and up to 20 percent of a nonvegetative decorative pervious material such as washed rock, bricks or paving stones. However, at least one tree will be required for every 2,000 square feet of open space including walkways in addition to screening or planting along the property lines. Existing vegetation may be used to meet the standards of this chapter. Deciduous trees will also be required parallel to all public rights-of-way. Small trees will be spaced approximately 25 feet on center; medium trees, 35 feet on center; and large trees, 45 feet on center. Alternatively, informal clusters of coniferous or broad-leaved evergreen trees and/or deciduous trees may be used in an amount equivalent to a row of trees spaced 25 feet on center. Small, medium and large trees, shrubs and ground cover approved for use in county rights-of-way are listed in the Whatcom County Development Standards, Chapter 5, Road Standards, Appendix I. Additional landscaping and screening is required as noted in other sections of this chapter. (Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016; Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2005-079 § 1, 2005).

20.80.330 Plant sizes at time of planting.

(1) Evergreen trees shall be a minimum height of five feet with an average height of six feet above the finished planting bed.

(2) Deciduous trees shall be at least two inches in caliper measured four and one half feet above ground level.

(3) Shrubs shall be at least 21 inches in height above finished grade.

(4) Ground cover shall provide an immediate coverage of at least 50 percent, and result in total coverage of the required landscape areas within three years as follows:

(a) Four-inch pots at 18 inches on average; or

(b) One-gallon or greater sized containers at 24 inches on average.

(5) In cases where they might interfere with vehicle or pedestrian traffic, deciduous trees should have a clear trunk area of at least seven feet above the ground. (Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016; Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013).

20.80.335 Plant choices.

(1) New landscaping materials shall include species native to the coastal region of the Pacific Northwest or noninvasive non-native species that have adapted to the climatic and soil conditions of the coastal region of the Pacific Northwest in the following amounts:

(a) Seventy-five percent of groundcover and shrubs; and

(b) Fifty percent of trees.

(2) Trees with weeping or contorted branching structures may be used as accent planting but should generally not be included as part of a screen planting or in plantings parallel to property lines.

(3) The county may require the applicant to modify the plant choice to:

(a) Eliminate undesirable species which may conflict with power lines or sewers because of their growth or invasive root systems; or

(b) Provide a desired diversity of species; or

(c) Make the plantings more in scale and compatible with the uses in the immediate vicinity of the subject property; or

(d) Provide plant materials that will fulfill the buffering or landscaping purpose of that planting on a year-round basis; or

(e) Provide visual relief on long facades.

(4) A list of desirable and undesirable trees with tree sizes is maintained on file with the land use division of planning and development services and may be used for reference. (Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016; Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013).

20.80.340 Existing vegetation.

(1) Applicants shall be encouraged to retain existing vegetation as appropriate.

(2) Existing vegetation may be used to meet all or part of the landscaping requirements of this chapter. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013).

20.80.345 Buffering plantings.

Buffers are required when the proposed use is in a commercial or industrial zone and is directly adjacent to and shares a common boundary with property in a rural or residential zone. They are normally 25 feet wide unless otherwise approved by the administrator upon receipt of a detailed planting plan prepared by a landscape architect or qualified landscape designer. Buffering plantings are intended to provide an all-season visual screen between commercial or industrial uses on one side, and rural or residential uses on the other side. Landscape buffers may be required on road frontages as a condition of development for commercial or industrial development that includes outside storage of materials, outside parking of equipment or vehicles other than vehicles for sale on the site, and similar uses that can be a visual distraction or unsightly to persons on the public right-of-way. Plant materials that have minimal irrigation needs and are native or have a demonstrated suitability for Whatcom County are required. Vegetation-based LID BMPs (such as bioretention facilities and rain gardens) may be used within buffers where the primary screening and buffering functions are not compromised. Twenty-five-foot planted buffers shall, at a minimum, consist of two offset rows of predominantly coniferous trees at an average spacing of 15 feet triangulated on center or an equivalent effect. Some deciduous trees shall be included and shrubs may be interspersed to provide interlocking root structures to reduce windthrow. Fifty-foot planted buffers will require four rows of trees in the same triangulated pattern as required in 25-foot buffers. Existing natural buffers are encouraged but may need additional width or be augmented with additional landscaping or fencing to provide the required sight barrier.

The buffer requirements for the Neighborhood Commercial Zone when abutting the Urban Residential Medium Density Zone (except as otherwise provided in WCC 20.60.552) can be met with a six-foot-high sight-obscuring fence or a dense hedge of sight-obscuring plantings. (Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016; Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2006-061 § 1 (Att. A)(2), 2006).

20.80.350 Parking areas.

A minimum five-foot-wide landscape strip shall be provided around the perimeter of all parking areas. Natural or planted buffers may be considered to meet this requirement. Tree spacing will be as required parallel to rights-of-way. Whenever a nonresidential parking lot containing more than 10 parking spaces is located in or adjacent to a residential zone, it shall also be screened on any side facing residential uses or zones where there is no intervening street. This screen shall consist of a fence, wall or acceptable planting screen at least four feet in height. The visual impact of parking areas shall be minimized by separating the area into modules that contain no more than 12 vehicles in a row. Each module shall be separated from other areas by a five-foot-wide planting strip containing trees, shrubbery, or other ground cover in such substantial density as to break up long sight lines and overviews of parked cars. Adjacent uses on separate parcels may combine their parking lots to enhance circulation without the necessity for intervening landscaping except for maintaining the module pattern. Vegetation-based LID BMPs (such as bioretention facilities and rain gardens) may be used within landscape strips and modules provided they meet the other applicable landscaping requirements such as screening or buffering. These shall be designed in accordance with the Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington (Ecology Manual), as amended. (Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016).

20.80.355 Trash or garbage collection storage areas – Screening and placement.

All trash or garbage collection storage areas must be screened from view from adjacent streets and properties using a solid fence or wall a minimum of six feet high. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013).

20.80.360 Special requirements for individual zone districts.

References to front yard landscaping in subsections (1) through (6) of this section shall be based on the property line except where the county engineer determines the road is developed at its ultimate width, then the back of the sidewalk can be used.

(1) Urban Residential Medium Density (URM), Neighborhood Commercial (NC), Resort Commercial (RC), and for nonresidential uses in the Residential and Rural Districts: 15 feet within the front yard setback and situated adjacent to the road shall be landscaped with vegetative material, except for driveways, walkways and signs. The remainder of the front yard setback may be used for parking.

(2) Tourist Commercial (TC), Rural General Commercial (RGC) and General Commercial (GC): 10 feet within the front yard setback and situated adjacent to the road shall be landscaped with vegetative material, except for driveways, walkways and signs. The remainder of the front yard setback may be used for parking.

(3) Gateway Industrial (GI):

(a) Fifteen feet within the setback from Portal Way and situated adjacent to the road shall be landscaped with vegetative material, except for driveways, walkways and signs. The remainder of the front yard setback may be used for parking.

(b) Twenty-five feet within the setback from Interstate 5 and situated adjacent to the road shall be landscaped with vegetative material, except for driveways, walkways and signs. The remainder of the front yard setback may be used for parking.

(4) Rural Industrial and Manufacturing (RIM), Light Impact Industrial (LII) and Airport Operations (AO): 15 feet within the front yard setback and situated adjacent to the road shall be landscaped with vegetative material, except for driveways, walkways and signs. The remainder of the front yard setback may be used for parking. When the Light Impact Industrial Zone fronts a minor or local access street the requirements for the General Manufacturing Zone may be used.

(5) General Manufacturing (GM): Five feet within the front yard setback and situated adjacent to the road shall be landscaped with vegetative material, except for driveways, walkways and signs. The remainder of the front yard setback may be used for parking. Subject to approval of the county, street trees may be placed in the right-of-way and the five-foot landscaping strip provided contiguous to the building with the front yard setback used for circulation of trucks and heavy equipment. In this situation to provide visual relief open space should be primarily concentrated in the side yards unless natural habitat in the rear such as wetlands or streams is present which should take precedence.

(6) Heavy Impact Industrial (HII): For heavy industrial uses refer to the buffering requirements in WCC 20.68.550. For all other uses the front yard landscaping shall be 15 feet, similar to the requirement for the Light Impact Industrial Zone. (Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 97-057 § 1, 1997; Ord. 96-046 § 1, 1996).

20.80.365 Conformance to Guide Meridian plan.

Repealed by Ord. 2011-013.

20.80.370 Modifications.

The requirements of this section may be modified by the zoning administrator under the following circumstances:

(1) The existing or finished grade of the subject property or adjoining property decreases or eliminates the need for the required landscaping or requires additional landscaping; or

(2) The modification will be more beneficial to the adjoining property than the required landscaping by causing less impairment of view or sunlight; or

(3) It is reasonable to anticipate that the adjoining property will be rezoned in the near future to a zone which would require no buffer or a less intensive buffer; or

(4) The modification is necessary to allow for maximum efficiency of an active or passive solar energy system on the subject property or a nearby adjoining property; or

(5) The required landscaping would conflict with existing utility lines; or

(6) If the required landscaped area is adjacent to angle parking, the minimum required width may be reduced to two feet if the average required width is maintained;

(7) A plan is prepared by a landscape architect licensed in the state of Washington which achieves the objectives of this section without necessarily complying with all of the specific standards.

20.80.375 Installation and bonding.

All landscaping and required irrigation shall be installed prior to occupancy. The county may accept for a period of up to one year a performance bond or other monetary security as approved by the prosecuting attorney in lieu of immediate installation for 125 percent of the labor and materials cost to install the approved landscaping and required irrigation. A landscaping maintenance bond or other approved monetary security for 10 percent of the labor and materials cost to install the approved landscaping shall be submitted prior to occupancy or release of any landscaping performance security held by the county. The maintenance security shall be released in two years after completion of the landscaping if the landscaping has been maintained in a healthy, growing condition, and if any dead or dying plants have been replaced.

20.80.380 Planting and care.

(1) The applicant shall follow accepted nursery standards and practices in the planting and maintenance of vegetation required by this chapter. During site development, care shall be taken not to compact the planting areas and compacted soils shall be loosened. Care shall also be taken to protect the root zone of existing trees.

(2) An irrigation system or hose bibs shall be provided with adequate water pressure and spacing to serve all landscaped areas, except for areas planted with native materials and other methods are provided for watering.

(3) All plant materials used in the landscaping shall be maintained in a healthy growing condition. Guy materials shall be installed in such a manner as to prevent girdling of trees. Dead shrubs or trees shall be replaced, and the planting area shall be maintained reasonably free of weeds and trash. Fences and walls shall be kept in good repair and their appearance well maintained. If the zoning administrator determines the maintenance required under this paragraph has not been performed, the county shall perform the work and bill the property owner.

(4) Planting areas shall be clearly delineated from parking areas and driveways by a raised curb or other suitable formal separation. Planting areas shall not have artificial impervious material underlying the topsoil. Required distances shall be measured from the inside of the curbs or other separators.

20.80.384 Sign, off-premises advertising.

Deleted editorially. (See WCC 20.97.384.)

20.80.385 Street planting.

The county may require the applicant to plant street trees, shrubs and/or ground cover within county right-of-way adjacent to the subject property if there is an adopted street tree plan for the adjacent street(s). (Ord. 89-117, 1989).

20.80.400 Sign controls.

Whenever reference is made in this ordinance to sign controls, the following provisions shall apply.

20.80.410 Signs – General provisions – Applicable to all districts.

(1) No sign or any portion of a sign shall be located on or over public property, such as road rights-of-way and easements, transmission line corridors or utility easements. Standard building height limits and setbacks shall apply to all signs unless otherwise provided elsewhere in this title or in other county codes or regulations including the county’s Shoreline Management Program. All freestanding signs advertising on-premises operations may be located within required landscaping areas, except that no such sign shall be closer than 10 feet to the road right-of-way. This distance shall be increased if it can be shown to present a traffic hazard.

(2) On-premises signs meeting the requirements of WCC 20.80.420 to 20.80.465 are permitted. Other than exempt signs under WCC 20.80.470, all other signs in the Recreation and Open Space District are prohibited and all other signs in other districts conditionally permitted subject to meeting the requirements of WCC 20.84.200.

(3) Off-premises advertising signs are prohibited in all districts except adjacent to arterial roads or Interstate 5 in General Commercial or Industrial Districts where they require a conditional use permit. Maximum sign size shall be 288 square feet and not more than 25 feet high. Minimum separation between off-premises advertising signs shall be a 500-foot radius. All off-premises advertising signs shall meet the setback requirements found in WCC 20.80.215. Off-premises signs may be back to back only; no V-type signs are allowed. Off-premises signs may display at most two advertisements per side. The number of off-premises advertising signs within the county shall not exceed 18, which is the total of existing off-premises advertising sign structures that as of April 30, 1990 (a) had a county conditional use permit and (b) those facing Interstate 5 within Commercial or Industrial Districts with a valid state permit. Permit holders for the existing 18 signs may replace any sign they remove with a new sign subject to obtaining conditional use approval for the new sign. By no later than April 30, 1996, all conforming off-premises advertising signs which became nonconforming as a result of new regulations adopted the seventh day of August, 1990, shall meet all requirements of said regulations or be abated; provided, that those signs holding valid conditional use permits need not conform to the setback from residence requirement of WCC 20.80.215(4).

(4) Signs shall not depict or describe “specified sexual activities” or “specified anatomical areas” as defined in WCC 20.97.008.

(5) Marijuana retail facility license holders shall abide by WAC 314-55-155 (as amended) regarding signage. (Ord. 2016-035 § 1 (Exh. A), 2016; Ord. 2015-006 Exh. A, 2015; Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 99-070 § 2, 1999; Ord. 96-056 Att. A § S5, 1996; Ord. 90-85, 1990; Ord. 90-66 § 1, 1990; Ord. 88-100, 1988; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987; Ord. 82-58, 1982).

20.80.420 Neighborhood Commercial District sign regulations.

(1) Single-faced signs placed on walls or eaves of business establishments shall not exceed 32 square feet.

(2) One freestanding sign is permitted for each Neighborhood Commercial Zone District. Each sign shall not exceed 64 square feet with a maximum height of 10 feet.

(3) Lighted signs shall only be internally or indirectly illuminated.

(4) Reader board signs shall be allowed for tenant identification only, and merchandise or price special advertising shall be prohibited.

(5) Off-premises advertising signs are prohibited. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987; Ord. 82-58, 1982).

20.80.430 Rural General Commercial and General Commercial District sign regulations.

(1) Single-faced signs placed on walls or eaves of business establishments shall not exceed 100 square feet in area. Freestanding signs shall not exceed 64 square feet in area. Roof signs shall not extend laterally beyond the roof they are located on and shall not exceed 100 square feet in area.

(2) Freestanding signs shall not exceed 25 feet in height and wall-mounted signs shall not exceed the actual building height. Roof signs shall not extend more than five feet above the peak of the roof.

(3) Lighted signs shall only be internally or indirectly illuminated. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.80.435 Tourist Commercial District sign regulations.

(1) Signs shall be located on the premises with the use they are identifying.

(2) Single-faced signs placed on walls or eaves of business establishments shall not exceed eight percent of the facade area where the sign will be located plus eight square feet. No more than one wall sign shall be permitted per facade. The facade area includes any one side of a building composed of walls, windows and doors.

(3) Elevated signs shall not exceed 250 square feet in area on any one face, nor exceed four faces per sign, and shall be located no closer than 200 feet apart regardless of ownership or number of businesses.

(4) Signs shall not exceed 40 feet in height except as provided for in subsection (7) of this section.

(5) Off-premises advertising signs are prohibited.

(6) Lighted signs shall only be internally or indirectly illuminated.

(7) One of the freestanding on-premises signs shall be permitted additional sign height subject to the following criteria:

(a) The sign identifies a business with a significant freeway orientation such as a business offering lodging, food, fuel or automobile service.

(b) The sign is within 1,500 feet of a freeway interchange, measured from the intersection of the center line of a freeway and the center line of the intersecting roadway.

(c) The permitted sign height shall not exceed 50 feet above the elevation of the overpass or freeway (whichever is higher) at the intersection of the freeway center line and the center line of the intersecting roadway. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 91-013, 1991; Ord. 90-66 § 1, 1990; Ord. 88-30, 1988; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987; Ord. 84-38, 1984).

20.80.440 Small Town Commercial and Resort Commercial District sign regulations.

(1) All uses shall be allowed on-premises signs in connection with any permitted, accessory or conditional use, subject to the following provisions:

(2) One freestanding sign for each road frontage, not to exceed 10 feet in height, and one wall sign; with total surface area of all signs not to exceed:

(a) Twelve square feet for each road frontage for multiple-family and rooming houses with less than or equal to 20 units;

(b) Forty square feet for each road frontage for hotels and motels; provided, that on any road frontage exceeding 160 feet, 60 square feet shall be allowed; and

(c) Twenty-four square feet for each road frontage for all other uses.

(3) Lighted signs shall only be internally or indirectly illuminated.

(4) Reader board signs shall be allowed for tenant identification only, and merchandise or price special advertising shall be prohibited.

(5) Signs shall be nonmoving, nonfluttering, and nonrotating, with pennants, banners, small lights and similar decorations of a seasonal or holiday or special event character allowed for up to 90 days per year.

(6) Off-premises advertising signs are prohibited. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 87-65, 1987; Ord. 82-58, 1982).

20.80.450 General Manufacturing, Light and Heavy Impact Industrial, Rural Industrial and Manufacturing, and Airport Operation Districts sign regulations.

(1) Unlighted temporary building signs not to exceed 64 square feet in area, with message limited to the name, address and phone number of the project, contractor, architect, and financial source, shall be permitted.

(2) Real estate signs shall be limited to one sign per street frontage, shall be unlighted and shall not exceed 64 square feet in area.

(3) The following regulations shall apply to permanent signs for industrial uses:

(a) All signs must be an integral and coordinated part of a site design plan for the entire complex.

(b) One freestanding sign shall be permitted at the entrance to each individual site; provided, that total sign area for any one face does not exceed 64 square feet.

(c) One freestanding sign not higher than 25 feet shall be permitted at each main entrance to an industrial park. The message of said sign shall be limited to the name of the park and its occupant(s). Sign area of any one face shall not exceed 275 square feet.

(d) Wall signs shall be flush against the building and shall not exceed 25 percent of the total wall area on which they are located less windows and doors.

(e) Roof signs not greater than five feet above the peak of the roof and not extending beyond the roof they are located on shall be permitted.

(4) For nonindustrial uses the following regulations shall apply:

(a) One freestanding sign not to exceed 64 square feet in surface area per sign face. A maximum of two sign faces shall be allowed. Height of this sign shall not exceed 25 feet.

(b) Single-faced signs on walls or eaves not to exceed a cumulative total of 100 square feet in area.

(c) Roof-mounted signs with a maximum of two faces per sign not to exceed a cumulative total of 100 square feet in surface area per face (or faces visible from one direction). These signs shall not extend laterally beyond the roof nor more than five feet above the highest point of the roof. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2011-013 § 2 Exh. B, 2011; Ord. 88-29, 1988).

20.80.460 Recreation and Open Space District sign regulations.

(1) One freestanding sign for each road frontage shall be permitted; provided the sign does not exceed six feet in height and surface area does not exceed 24 square feet. Sign setbacks shall be at least 20 feet from the edge of a county or state road right-of-way, or 25 feet from adjacent nonpublic property lines.

(2) One wall sign for each accessory or conditionally permitted structure shall be permitted; provided total sign area does not exceed 12 square feet.

(3) Signs demarcating public property boundaries shall be permitted; provided total sign area for each individual sign does not exceed three square feet. Said signs may be located at property lines. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013).

20.80.465 Urban Residential Mixed (UR-MX) District sign regulations.

(1) Not more than two identification signs with a maximum of 32 square feet total area for each storefront shall be permitted; provided, that said sign(s) shall not project above any part of the roof line. Signs may extend 24 inches from the wall or to the edge of a permanent canopy or awning of the building to which they are attached. At least one of the signs for an individual business must be readable to pedestrians on the adjacent sidewalk.

(2) Said signs shall be harmonious and compatible with the character of the surrounding area.

(3) Signs may only be illuminated by an indirect external source. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2001-023 § 1, 2001).

20.80.470 Exemptions.

The following types of signs shall be exempt from the regulations of this section and zoning districts; provided, that such signs shall conform to the general provisions of this section.

(1) Addresses (internal lighting permitted), family names, cottage names, entrance and exit signs, up to two square feet; provided, that they are on premises.

(2) Temporary on-premises real estate sales signs, up to 14 square feet for each road frontage; provided, that for sites in excess of five acres, the area may be increased to 64 square feet per road frontage (single sign only permitted) on a one-year permit basis. Signs announcing construction of a facility shall be considered to be real estate sales signs.

(3) Small window signs up to three square feet in business uses; provided, that such signs do not cover more than 25 percent of the area of any window.

(4) Community identification signs of up to 64 square feet on entrance roads to community areas; provided, that such signs shall not be spaced at intervals of less than one mile along such a road.

(5) Private directional signs up to 12 square feet in Business, Commercial or Industrial Districts, and up to six square feet in other districts; provided, that:

(a) No single use may have more than four such signs;

(b) No single use shall have signs occurring more frequently than one per mile;

(c) Signs shall meet off-premises advertising sign (WCC 20.80.215) setback requirements unless they are four feet or less in height, in which case setback shall be five feet from any right-of-way and 30 feet from any driveway;

(d) No sign shall violate the clear vision section (WCC 20.80.210(3)); and

(e) Existing signs that do not comply with all provisions above may continue to exist until May 1, 1991, at which time all nonconforming signs shall be abated.

(6) Public agency directional signs; provided, that paragraphs (a), (b) and (d) same as (5) above; (e) eliminated; and (c) to read: signs may be located in the public right-of-way subject to obtaining a revocable encroachment permit from the county. (Ord. 2010-030 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 90-66 § 1, 1990; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.80.500 Off-street parking and loading requirements.

(Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016).

20.80.505 General requirements.

(1) No building or structure shall be erected, substantially altered, or its use changed unless permanently maintained off-street parking and loading spaces have been provided in accordance with the provisions of this title.

(2) The provisions of this section, except where there is a change of use, shall not apply to any existing building or structure. Where the new use involves no additions or enlargements there shall be provided as many of such spaces as may be required by this title.

(3) Whenever a building or structure constructed after the effective date of this ordinance is changed or enlarged in floor area, number of employees, number of housing units, seating capacity or otherwise to create a need for an increase in the number of existing parking spaces, additional parking spaces shall be provided on the basis of the enlargement or change; provided whenever a building or structure existing prior to the effective date of this ordinance is enlarged to the extent of 50 percent or more in floor area, number of employees, number of housing units, seating capacity or otherwise, said building or structure shall then and thereafter comply with the full parking requirements set forth herein.

20.80.510 Parking space dimensions.

A parking space shall have minimum rectangular dimensions of not less than 10 feet in width and 20 feet in length; provided, however, that for any parking area of 12 or more spaces, 35 percent of all spaces may have minimum rectangular dimensions of not less than eight feet in width and 15 feet in length; provided, that these spaces are marked for use by compact automobiles. All dimensions shall be exclusive of driveways, aisles and other circulation areas. The number of required off-street parking spaces is established in WCC 20.80.580.

20.80.512 Wheel stop, overhang.

(1) Appropriate wheel and bumper guards shall be provided to protect landscaped areas, to define parking spaces, and to clearly separate the parking area from any abutting street rights-of-way and property lines. Vehicles may overhang landscaped areas up to two feet when wheel stops or curbing is provided.

(2) Where sufficient area is available to allow safe and efficient overhang of a vehicle, the planning department may permit the standard parking stall length to be reduced by two feet with corresponding increase in adjacent landscaping width. (Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016).

20.80.515 Loading space requirements and dimensions.

A loading space shall have minimum dimensions of not less than 14 feet in width, 60 feet in length, exclusive of driveways, aisles, and other circulation areas, and a height of clearance of not less than 15 feet. One off-street loading space shall be provided and maintained on the same lot for every separate occupancy requiring delivery of goods and having a gross floor area of at least 5,000 square feet in the case of manufacturing, warehouse or terminal buildings, and 10,000 square feet for commercial, hotel, institutional and public buildings. One loading space shall be provided for each additional 10,000 square feet for retail and restaurant buildings; and one for each additional 30,000 square feet for manufacturing, warehouse and service uses.

Required off-street loading spaces are not to be included as off-street parking space in computation of required off-street parking space. All off-street loading spaces shall be located totally outside of any street or alley right-of-way. (Ord. 2005-079 § 1, 2005).

Off-Street Parking Diagram

 

Off-Street Parking Dimensional Table

 

45
Degrees

60
Degrees

90
Degrees

Parallel

A = width of parking space

10'

10'

10'

10'

B = length of parking space

20'

20'

20'

25'

C = width of driveway isle

13'

18'

25'

12'

D = width of access driveway

14'

14'

14'

14'

D = width of 2-way access driveway

24'

24'

24'

24'

20.80.520 Surfacing.

The required number of parking and loading spaces as set forth in WCC 20.80.515 and 20.80.580, together with driveways, aisles and other circulation areas, shall be improved with a material acceptable to the county engineer. In some instances, gravel rather than paving may be acceptable. (Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.80.521 Drainage.

All parking and loading areas shall provide for proper drainage of surface water to prevent the drainage of such water onto adjacent properties or walkways. Off-site drainage improvements and maintenance easements shall be secured as necessary to prevent damage to downstream property and prevent degradation of water quality. (Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999).

20.80.522 Maintenance.

The owner of property used for parking and/or loading shall maintain such area in good condition without holes and free of all dust, trash and other debris.

20.80.523 Lighting.

Any parking area which is intended to be used primarily during nondaylight hours shall be properly illuminated to avoid accidents. Any lights used to illuminate a parking lot shall be so arranged as to direct the light away from the adjoining property and the public road.

20.80.525 Location of parking spaces.

The following regulations shall govern the location of off-street parking spaces and areas:

(1) Parking spaces for all one and two-family dwellings shall be located on the same lot as the dwelling which they are intended to serve with no more than two parking spaces included within the front yard setback; unless otherwise approved by the zoning administrator. Use of shared parking spaces for overflow parking is encouraged.

(2) Parking spaces for commercial, industrial or institutional uses shall be located not more than 700 feet from the principal use. Parking lots further than 700 feet from the principal use may be approved by the zoning administrator.

(3) Parking space for apartments, dormitories or similar residential uses shall be located not more than 300 feet from the principal use.

(4) Parking spaces and locations established in new land subdivisions approved by Whatcom County prior to the enactment of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall be exempt from the requirement of approval by the zoning administrator.

(5) In special districts, parking locations and standards shall be established so as to minimize the overall impervious surface area of the proposed development. (Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 99-086, 1999; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.80.530 Screening and/or landscaping.

Whenever a nonresidential parking lot containing more than 10 parking spaces is located in or adjacent to a residential district, it shall be effectively screened on all sides which adjoin or face any property used for residential purposes, by an acceptably designed wall, fence or planting screen. Such fence, wall or planting screen shall be not less than four feet nor more than six feet in height and shall be maintained in good condition. The space between such fence, wall or planting screen, and the lot line of the adjoining premises in any residential district shall be landscaped with grass, hardy shrubs or evergreen ground cover, and maintained in good condition. In the event that terrain or other natural features are such that the erection of such fence, wall or planting screen will not serve the intended purpose, then no such fence, wall or planting screen and landscaping shall be required.

20.80.535 Required trash areas.

All commercial, industrial and multifamily residential uses comprising 10 or more units that provide trash and/or garbage collection areas shall enclose such areas on at least three sides by a solid wall or fence of at least four feet in height if such area is not within an enclosed building or structure. Provisions for adequate vehicular access to and from such area or areas for collection of trash and/or garbage as determined by the zoning administrator shall be required.

20.80.540 Nonpermitted storage.

For the protection of the quality of residential and commercial areas, and to maintain individual property values, the indiscriminate deposition of discarded vehicles, used building materials, equipment, appliances and assorted junk shall be prohibited in all Residential and Commercial Zone Districts.

.541 Derelict or abandoned vehicles and trailers (or parts thereof) shall be removed at the property owner’s expense 14 days after official notification. This shall include vehicles and trailers parked on private property, public streets, roads or rights-of-way adjacent to the property owner’s property. It shall also be unlawful to retain inoperative abandoned farm implements, mechanical or structural apparatus. Said farm implements, logging equipment, industrial machinery and other apparatus shall be removed at the property owner’s expense (see exception in WCC 20.80.542).

.542 Property owners, or owners of derelict or abandoned vehicles, trailers, farm implements, logging equipment, industrial machinery or similar apparatus shall have the right to retain the above which is visually screened from public roads or private roads open to public use or trails open to public use or surrounding residential or commercial property. (Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.80.545 Minimum distance and setbacks.

No part of any parking area for more than 10 vehicles shall be closer than 20 feet to any dwelling unit, school, hospital, or other institution for human care located on an adjoining lot, unless separated by an acceptably designed screen. Parking areas for one-family and two-family dwellings if located within the required front yard setback areas shall have a setback of at least 10 feet from the road right-of-way. In no case shall any part of a parking area be closer than four feet to any established street or alley right-of-way. (Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.80.550 Joint use.

Two or more nonresidential uses may jointly provide and use parking spaces when their hours of operation do not normally overlap; provided, that a written agreement approved by the zoning administrator shall be filed with the application of a building permit.

20.80.555 Wheel blocks.

Whenever a parking lot extends to a property line, wheel blocks or other suitable devices shall be installed to prevent any part of a parked vehicle from extending beyond the property line.

20.80.560 Width of aisles.

One-way aisles serving individual parking spaces shall be not less than 25 feet wide for 90 degree parking, 12 feet wide for parallel parking, 18 feet for 60 degree parking, and 13 feet for 45 degree parking.

20.80.565 Access.

Any parking area shall be designed in such a manner that any vehicle leaving or entering the parking area from or into a public or private street shall be traveling in a forward motion. Access of driveways for parking areas or loading spaces shall be located in such a way that any vehicle entering or leaving such lot shall be clearly visible for a reasonable distance to any pedestrian or motorist approaching the access or driveway from a public or private street. This requirement shall apply to parking areas of two or less required spaces only when exits are on state highways and major county arterials and collectors. Clear vision areas shall be maintained at exits to the same specifications as alley-street intersections in WCC 20.80.210(3). No building permit shall be issued until an access plan is approved by the county engineer. (Ord. 2003-029 § 1 (Att. A § 1), 2003; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.80.570 Circulation.

The entrances and exits to the parking area shall be clearly marked. Interior vehicular circulation by way of access roads shall maintain the following minimum standards: For one-way traffic, the minimum width of 14 feet. Access roads for two-way traffic shall have a minimum width of 24 feet. Parking areas having more than one aisle or driveway shall have directional signs or markings in each aisle or driveway. (Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.80.575 Striping.

All paved parking areas with a capacity over 12 vehicles shall be striped between stalls to facilitate the movement into and out of the parking stalls. (Ord. 96-056 Att. A § S6, 1996).

20.80.580 Parking space requirements.

For the purpose of this ordinance, the following parking space requirements shall apply (See also WCC 20.97.140):

(1) Administration buildings (public or private): 1 for each 200 square feet of floor area.

(2) Apartments: 3 for each 2 units.

(3) Apartment hotels: 3 for each 2 units.

(4) Art galleries: 1 for each 300 square feet of floor area.

(5) Auditoriums: 1 for each 4 seats.

(6) Automobile service stations (which also provide repair): 1 for each gasoline pump and 2 for each service bay.

(7) Banks: 1 for each 200 square feet of floor area.

(8) Boarding houses: 1 for each bed.

(9) Bowling alley: 4 for each alley or lane plus one additional space for each 100 square feet of the area used for restaurant, cocktail lounge or similar use.

(10) Business and commercial (general): 1 for each 300 square feet of floor area.

(11) Business schools: 1 for each 2 classroom seats.

(12) Cartage, express and parcel delivery: 1 for every employee (on the largest shift for which the building is designed) and 1 for each motor vehicle maintained on the premises.

(13) Child care centers: 2 for each classroom but not less than 6 for the building.

(14) Children’s homes: 1 for each 3 beds.

(15) Churches: 1 for each 4 seats.

(16) Colleges: 1 for each 3 students.

(17) Dance floors: 1 for each 100 square feet of floor area used for the activity.

(18) Dental clinics: 1 for every 200 square feet of floor area of examination.

(19) Dining rooms: 1 for each 100 square feet of floor area.

(20) Dormitories: 1 for each bed.

(21) Duplex: 2 for each unit.

(22) Elementary school: 1 for each teacher and 1 for every 8 seats in auditoriums or assembly halls.

(23) Financial institutions: 1 for each 200 square feet of floor area.

(24) Fraternities: 1 for each bed.

(25) Freight terminals: 1 for every employee (on the largest shift for which the building is designed) and 1 for each motor vehicle maintained on the premises.

(26) Funeral parlors: 1 for each 100 square feet of floor area in slumber rooms, parlors or service rooms.

(27) Homes for the aged: 1 for each 3 beds.

(28) Hospitals: 1 1/2 for each bed.

(29) Hotels: 1 per each sleeping room plus 1 space for each 2 employees.

(30) Junior high schools: 1 for each teacher and 1 for every 8 seats in auditoriums or assembly halls.

(31) Kindergartens: 2 for each classroom but not less than 6 for the building.

(32) Libraries: 1 for each 300 square feet of floor area.

(33) Manufacturing uses: 1 for every employee (on the largest shift for which the building is designed) and 1 for each motor vehicle maintained on the premises.

(34) Medical clinic: 1 for every 200 square feet of floor area of examination, treating room, office and waiting room.

(35) Mobile homes: 2 for each unit.

(36) Mortuaries: 1 for each 100 feet of floor area in slumber rooms, parlors or service rooms.

(37) Motels: 1 per each sleeping room plus 1 space for each 2 employees.

(38) Multifamily dwelling: 3 for each 2 units.

(39) Museums: 1 for each 300 square feet of floor area.

(40) Night club: 1 for each 100 square feet of floor area.

(41) Nursing homes: 1 for each 3 beds.

(42) Nursery schools: 2 for each classroom but not less than 6 for the building.

(43) Offices: 1 for each 200 square feet of floor area.

(44) Parks, golf courses, cemeteries and other uses consisting primarily of open space: 1 for each acre of land; provided, that this requirement may be increased or decreased by the zoning administrator or hearing examiner, as appropriate, based on anticipated intensity of use of the property.

(45) Retail stores: 1 for each 250 square feet of floor area.

(46) Restaurants: 1 for each 100 square feet of floor area.

(47) Rooming houses: 1 for each bed.

(48) Sanitariums: 1 for each 3 beds.

(49) Service building: 1 for each 200 square feet of floor area.

(50) Single-family dwelling: 2 for each unit.

(51) Skating rinks: 1 for each 100 square feet of floor area used for the activity.

(52) Sports arenas: 1 for each 4 seats.

(53) Storage uses: 1 for every employee (on the largest shift for which the building is designed) plus 1 for each motor vehicle used in the business.

(54) Swimming pools (outdoor-public, community or club): 1 for each 5 persons capacity plus 1 for each 4 seats or 1 for each 30 square feet of floor area used for seating purposes, whichever is greater.

(55) Taverns: 1 for each 100 square feet of floor area.

(56) Technical schools: 1 for each 2 classroom seats.

(57) Theaters: 1 for each 4 seats.

(58) Trade schools: 1 for each 2 classroom seats.

(59) Universities: 1 for each 3 students.

(60) Wholesale uses: 1 for every employee (on the largest shift for which the building is designed) plus 1 for each motor vehicle used in the business. (Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.80.585 Accessible parking.

Parking shall be installed in accordance with federal and state regulations for ADA accessibility. In the event there is a conflict between the state and the federal regulation(s), the state regulation(s) shall apply. (Ord. 99-063, 1999; Ord. 96-056 Att. A § S7, 1996).

20.80.590 General interpretations.

In the interpretation of this section, the following rules shall govern:

(1) Parking spaces for other permitted or conditional uses not listed in this section shall be determined by the hearing examiner where a land use permit is required and by the zoning administrator for other permitted uses.

(2) Fractional numbers shall be increased to the next whole number.

(3) Where there is an adequate public transit system or where for any other reason parking requirements are unusually low, the parking space provisions cited above may be reduced proportionately by the zoning administrator.

(4) In portions of a lot devoted exclusively to the smaller spaces marked for use by small cars, aisle width may be reduced to 20 feet for 90 degree parking; to 15 feet for 60 degree parking; and to 12 feet for 45 degree parking. (Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.80.600 Other development standards.

The following standards shall apply to development in every zoning district.

20.80.610 Landscaping.

Deleted by Ord. 96-056.

20.80.620 Noise.

No development shall exceed the maximum environmental noise level established by Chapter 173-60 WAC. More rigorous standards may be specified in regulations of specific zoning districts. The use of exhaust brakes in residential areas may be restricted as authorized under the provisions of RCW 36.75.270 and 46.44.080. (Ord. 92-079, 1992; Ord. 91-075, 1991).

20.80.630 Stormwater and drainage.

(1) Unless exempted in WCC 20.80.631, all development activity on lands within Whatcom County shall be subject to stormwater management requirements as follows:

(a) NPDES Phase II Permit Area. Except in the Lake Whatcom Watershed Overlay District, development activity inside the NPDES Phase II permit area shall comply with:

(i) The 2012 Washington State Department of Ecology Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington (Stormwater Manual), as amended;

(ii) Appendix 1, Minimum Technical Requirements, of the Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit; and

(iii) Appendix 7, “Determining Construction Site Damage Transport Potential,” of the Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit.

(b) Lake Whatcom Watershed Overlay District. All development activity inside the Lake Whatcom Watershed Overlay District shall comply with Chapter 20.51 WCC, Lake Whatcom Watershed Overlay District, which satisfies all 2013 Western Washington Municipal Stormwater Permit development and redevelopment requirements.

(c) Stormwater Special Districts. Except for areas within or that overlap with the NPDES Phase II permit area (see subsection (1)(a) of this section), development activity inside stormwater special districts (as defined by WCC 20.80.635) shall comply with the Stormwater Manual, using the following modified minimum requirements in the table below, and using the Stormwater Manual’s definitions of terms for “stormwater site plan,” “impervious surface,” “hard surface,” “land disturbing activity,” “project,” “site,” and “replaced hard surface”:

Within Special Stormwater Districts – Modified Thresholds for Stormwater
Management Table 

Minimum Requirement (MR)1

When Required

MR1 Stormwater Site Plan

> 500 sq. ft. of new impervious surface, or
Renovation projects where the estimated cost exceeds 50% of the assessed value

MR2 Construction SWPPP

Always required

MR3 Source Control

Not required

MR4 Preserve Natural Drainage

> 500 sq. ft. of new impervious surface, or
Renovation projects where the estimated cost exceeds 50% of the assessed value

MR5 On-Site Stormwater Management

•    Property 2 acres meeting MR1, provide dispersion

•    Property < 2 acres meeting MR1 where soils are suitable for infiltration, provide infiltration

•    Property < 2 acres meeting MR1 where soils are not suitable for infiltration and project does not increase the 24-hour, 100-year peak flow rate by ≥ 0.1cfs; provide dispersion

MR6 Treatment

Always required

MR7 Flow Control

Property < 2 acres meeting MR1 where project increases the 24-hour, 100-year peak flow rate by 0.1cfs; provide detention

MR8 Wetlands Protection

> 500 sq. ft. of new impervious surface, or
Renovation projects where the estimated cost exceeds 50% of the assessed value

MR9 O&M

Required only if stormwater facility installed

1    Minimum requirements MR5 – MR9 likely require preparation by a professional engineer.

(d) Outside (i) the NPDES Phase II Permit Area, (ii) the Lake Whatcom Watershed Overlay District, and (iii) the Stormwater Special Districts. Development activity outside the NPDES Phase II permit area, Lake Whatcom Watershed Overlay District, and stormwater special districts (as defined by WCC 20.80.635) shall comply with the Stormwater Manual, using the following modified minimum requirements in the table below, the definitions for land use intensity in subsection (e) of this section, and using the Stormwater Manual’s definitions of terms for “stormwater site plan,” “impervious surface,” “hard surface,” “land disturbing activity,” “project,” “site,” and “replaced hard surface”:

Outside the NPDES Phase II Permit Area, the Lake Whatcom Watershed Overlay District,
and the Stormwater Special Districts – Modified Thresholds for Stormwater
Management Table 

Minimum Requirement (MR)1

Land Use Intensity2

Low

Medium

High

MR1 Stormwater Site Plan

7,000 sq. ft. of new plus replaced hard surface, or

14,000 sq. ft. land disturbing activity

4,000 sq. ft. of new plus replaced hard surface, or

14,000 sq. ft. land disturbing activity

Per manual3

MR2 Construction SWPPP

Always required

MR3 Source Control

Not required

4,000 sq. ft. of new plus replaced hard surface, or
14,000 sq. ft. land disturbing activity

Per manual3

MR4 Preserve Natural Drainage

7,000 sq. ft. of new plus replaced hard surface, or
14,000 sq. ft. land disturbing activity

MR5 On-Site Stormwater Management

Not required

MR6 Treatment

Not required

MR7 Flow Control

Not required

MR8 Wetlands Protection

7,000 sq. ft. of new plus replaced hard surface, or
14,000 sq. ft. land disturbing activity

MR9 O&M

Required only if stormwater facility installed

1    Minimum requirements MR5 – MR9 likely require preparation by a professional engineer.

2    See subsection (1)(e) of this section to determine land use intensity.

3    Application of the stormwater manual is not required where a county-, state-, or federal-approved farm plan, or equivalent document, demonstrates stormwater is being effectively managed to the standards equivalent to an NPDES Phase II permit.

(e) The land use intensities in the above table have the following meanings:

Land Use Intensity for Stormwater Management Table 

Note: Any project that results in new plus replaced hard surface greater than or equal to 10 percent of the gross parcel size or 20,000 sq. ft., whichever is greater, converts 1.5 acres of vegetation to lawn or five acres of vegetation to pasture, or results in cumulative impervious surface exceeding the threshold set below, is subject to the thresholds for “high intensity” land uses.

Low

•    Single-family residential and accessory uses on lots of record of 25,000 sq. ft. or larger;

•    Construction of agricultural buildings, including those used in the processing and wholesale of agricultural products, on agricultural land as defined by RCW 84.34.020(2);

•    Seasonal roadside stands; or

•    Roads (other than those exempt as pavement maintenance).

Medium

•    Single-family residential and accessory uses on lots of record smaller than 25,000 sq. ft.;

•    Short subdivisions of land into four or fewer lots;

•    Minor utility developments; or

•    Trails and trailheads.

High

•    All other uses, including all commercial, industrial, institutional, and urban or multifamily residential uses;

•    Subdivisions of land into more than four lots;

•    All uses on parcels bisected by the NPDES Phase II permit area boundary;

•    Any project that results in new plus replaced hard surface greater than or equal to 10 percent of the gross parcel size or 20,000 sq. ft., whichever is greater, or converts 1.5 acres of vegetation to lawn or five acres of vegetation to pasture;

•    In the Rural and Residential Rural Districts, any project on a parcel smaller than 2.95 acres that results in the parcel having a cumulative impervious surface exceeding 10,000 sq. ft. or 35 percent of gross parcel size, whichever is greater; or

•    In the Rural and Residential Rural Districts, any project on a parcel of 2.95 acres or larger that results in the parcel having a cumulative impervious surface exceeding 45,000 sq. ft. or 5 percent of gross parcel size, whichever is greater.

Note: For purposes of determining high intensity land use, the calculation of cumulative impervious surface shall not include roadways or driveways in public rights-of-way or in easements that serve other parcels.

(2) No project permit shall be issued prior to meeting the stormwater requirements of this section and/or the 2012 Washington State Department of Ecology Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington, as amended. Advisory Note: Certain stormwater discharges to natural receiving waters are subject to state water quality standards and the requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Hydraulic project approval (HPA) may also be required if stormwater is discharged to a water body or stream that provides, or could provide, habitat for fish. (Ord. 2017-045 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016; Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 2013-050 § 1 Exh. A, 2013; Ord. 2010-003 Exh. A, 2010; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 96-056 Att. A §§ A2, S9, 1996; Ord. 94-022, 1994).

20.80.631 Exemptions.

(1) Forest practices regulated under WAC Title 222, except for Class IV general forest practices and nonconversion forest practices with approved conversion option harvest plans.

(2) Commercial agriculture practices (as defined in the 2012 Washington State Department of Ecology Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington, as amended) involving working the land for production are generally exempt. However, the conversion from timberland to agriculture and the construction of impervious surfaces are not exempt.

(3) Development undertaken by the Washington State Department of Transportation in state highway right-of-way when regulated by Chapter 173-270 WAC, the Puget Sound Highway Runoff Program. (Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016; Ord. 2010-003 Exh. A, 2010; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 94-022, 1994).

20.80.632 Small development requirements.

Repealed by Ord. 2016-045. (Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2000-066 § 1, 2000; Ord. 99-086, 1999; Ord. 94-022, 1994).

20.80.633 Large development requirements.

Repealed by Ord. 2016-045. (Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2000-066 § 1, 2000; Ord. 99-086, 1999; Ord. 94-022, 1994).

20.80.634 Stormwater conformance.

All development shall conform to the following requirements:

(1) General.

(a) Stormwater discharges must be controlled and treated as required by law.

(b) Best management practices (BMPs) shall be used to comply with the regulations in this chapter. If appropriate BMPs are not referenced in the 2012 Washington State Department of Ecology Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington, as amended (Stormwater Manual), experimental BMPs may be considered. However, experimental BMPs must be approved by the county technical administrator prior to implementation.

(c) Development shall minimize impervious surface areas while maintaining project function and viability. Protection of ground water and aquifer recharge are important objectives which shall be incorporated in required surface water management facilities consistent with established BMPs.

(d) Stormwater systems shall not be constructed in such a manner that they materially degrade natural systems such as streams and their banks, wetlands, ponds or lakes.

(e) Natural drainage patterns shall be maintained and discharges from the site shall occur at the natural location, unless it can be shown that relocation will have no significant adverse impact to either built or natural systems as a result of the relocation.

(f) The design of stormwater systems shall be an integral part of the overall development design and, in addition to the primary storage and conveyance function, should incorporate multiple use provisions to enhance the project, such as the following:

(i) Recreation;

(ii) Public safety;

(iii) Economical maintenance;

(iv) Aesthetic integration into the landscape and project design;

(v) Wildlife habitat;

(vi) Education;

(vii) Open space.

(2) Erosion and Sediment Control.

(a) All proposed projects that will clear, grade, or otherwise disturb the site shall provide erosion and sediment control (ESC) that prevents the transport of sediment from the site to drainage facilities, water resources and adjacent properties.

(b) Erosion and sediment controls shall be selected and applied in accordance with the Stormwater Manual. (Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2000-066 § 1, 2000; Ord. 99-086, 1999; Ord. 99-071, 1999; Ord. 96-056 Att. A § S10, 1996; Ord. 94-022, 1994. Formerly 20.80.635).

20.80.635 Stormwater special districts.

(1) Whatcom County shall establish the following geographical areas as stormwater special districts:

(a) Drayton Harbor watershed.

(b) Lake Samish watershed.

(c) Birch Bay watershed.

(d) Lake Padden watershed.

(2) Requirements for these areas are contained in WCC 20.80.630(1)(c). (Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016; Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. B, 2009; Ord. 2008-035 Exh. A, 2008; Ord. 2005-030 § 1 Exh. A, 2005; Ord. 2004-051 Exh. A, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.636 Stormwater special district requirements.

Repealed by Ord. 2016-045. (Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. B, 2009; Ord. 2005-030 § 1 Exh. A, 2005; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002; Ord. 2001-021 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2000-066 § 1, 2000).

20.80.640 Driveways.

A permit shall be obtained from the county engineer or State Department of Transportation, as appropriate, prior to the construction of any driveways on a public right-of-way. The location of driveways adjacent to a property line functioning as one point of ingress and egress to both properties shall be encouraged and shall be considered as one driveway. The location of driveways shall be in accordance with standards adopted by the county or State Department of Transportation as appropriate and approved by the county council. These standards shall regulate location, width and alignment as they relate to safety and traffic congestion. (Ord. 2013-057 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013).

20.80.650 Air quality.

No development, including traffic generated directly by it, should generate air pollution exceeding the minimum permissible emission levels established by the Northwest Air Pollution Control Agency (NWAPA) or the Environmental Protection Agency.

20.80.660 All-weather road access.

In order to assure all-weather access, owners of property rezoned to GI, LII, GM or HII shall be required to attach a covenant to said property and file it with the county auditor stating that the owners of the property, their heirs, assigns and successors in interest will not oppose participation in a county road improvement district and latecomers’ agreement as deemed necessary by the division of engineering and the county council pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 35.72 RCW and Chapter 12.44 WCC. No development of rezoned properties that requires all-weather road standards shall be permitted until an all-weather road access is provided. (Ord. 87-65, 1987; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.80.670 Docks.

All dock development shall conform to the following requirements:

(1) The dock development shall conform to all applicable local, state and federal requirements including the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program. In particular, dock design and construction shall comply with the requirements of WCC 23.100.090.

(2) For all fresh water areas, all new posts or pilings shall be untreated in order to avoid adverse impact on water quality.

(3) The dock shall be painted, marked with reflectors, or otherwise identified so as to prevent unnecessary hazardous conditions for water surface uses during day or night.

(4) Docks for noncommercial use or any watercraft moored thereto shall not be used for a residence.

(5) Storage on a dock is prohibited. However, the requirement does not apply where a specific design or structure has been approved by the zoning administrator after demonstrating that adequate preventions are utilized to maintain safety and water quality.

(6) Any exterior lighting shall be directed or shielded so as not to cause annoying glare to neighboring properties, or to road or water traffic.

(7) Docks shall only be constructed within the property owned by the applicant or where the applicant has obtained the appropriate lease arrangements for the state of Washington or where appropriate. (Ord. 82-58, 1982).

20.80.675 Height limitations surrounding airports.

(1) No structure shall exceed the height of the imaginary surfaces defined in Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 77 around airports that have mapped such imaginary surfaces (airports that have mapped Part 77 imaginary surfaces are shown in Appendix I of the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan). This restriction shall not apply to single-family residences and accessory structures that have a building height of 30 feet or less.

(2) The hearing examiner shall have authority to grant a variance from the height limit of subsection (1) of this section.

(3) The variance application shall be accompanied by:

(a) A letter from the Federal Aviation Administration evaluating the effects of the proposal on the operation of air navigation facilities and the safe, efficient use of navigable airspace; and

(b) A letter from an official representative of the airport evaluating the effects of the proposal on the operation of air navigation facilities and the safe, efficient use of navigable airspace.

(4) If the Federal Aviation Administration or the official representative of the airport fails to respond within 45 days to a written request by the applicant to evaluate the proposal, the variance application may be submitted without the evaluation(s) required by subsection (3) of this section.

(5) A variance may be granted if the hearing examiner finds that:

(a) The strict application of the height limit will result in unnecessary hardship; and

(b) The height proposed will not be contrary to the public interest and will not create a hazard to air navigation.

(6) No variance shall be granted that authorizes a use that is not allowed by the underlying zoning.

(7) The variance criteria of WCC 20.84.100 shall not apply. (Ord. 2005-004, 2005; Ord. 84-38, 1984).

20.80.680 Unsuitable land.

Land which is unsuitable for the development of permitted, accessory or conditional uses as defined by WCC 20.97.443 shall not be developed unless adequate safeguards are formulated by the developer and approved by the zoning administrator. The safeguards shall be based on technical data and/or professional review as deemed necessary by the administrator. If no adequate safeguards are available, the unsuitable land area shall be retained for agricultural, forestry or open space purposes. (Ord. 84-38, 1984).

20.80.690 Marijuana production and processing.

(Ord. 2015-006 Exh. A, 2015).

20.80.691 Marijuana state license required.

Prior to commencing operations, a marijuana producer, processor, or retailer shall obtain approval as a state-licensed marijuana producer, processor, or retailer under Chapter 69.50 RCW, as amended, and Chapter 314-55 WAC, as amended. (Ord. 2015-006 Exh. A, 2015).

20.80.692 Application for county development permits – Timing.

Applicants for marijuana production, processing, or retailing may apply for county development permits at any time. Applicants who wish to apply for county permits, or commence construction of facilities for producing, processing, or retailing of marijuana under Chapter 69.50 RCW, prior to obtaining approval as a state-licensed marijuana producer, processor or retailer do so at their own risk. Final occupancy of the building will not be granted until a state Liquor and Cannabis Board license has been approved. (Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. I), 2016; Ord. 2015-006 Exh. A, 2015).

20.80.693 Production.

(1) For indoor facilities no odor or smoke shall be emitted that is detectable at or beyond the walls of the facility, in such a concentration or of such duration as to cause a public nuisance, or threaten health or safety, or to unreasonably infringe upon the use and enjoyment of neighboring use. The applicant shall install an exhaust system that is designed and constructed to capture sources of contaminants to prevent spreading of contaminants or odors to other occupied parts of the building or surrounding area. The system must be designed by a licensed Washington State professional engineer.

(2) Any lights used to illuminate the facility shall be so arranged as to direct the light away from the adjoining property and the public road.

(3) No traffic shall be generated by such a facility in greater volume than would normally be expected in the applicable zoning district and appropriate for the road classification which serves the property.

(4) Any need for parking generated by the conduct of such a facility shall meet the off-street parking requirements as specified in this title. At least one additional space shall be provided for each nonresident on-site employee.

(5) The proposed use shall be compatible with the general appearance and character of the surrounding area. The zoning administrator at his or her discretion may require landscape screening pursuant to the requirements of WCC 20.80.345. (Ord. 2015-006 Exh. A, 2015).

20.80.694 Processing.

(1) The facility employs no more than 10 permanent employees, except that in the Agriculture and Rural Forestry Zones the facility may employ no more than 20 employees.

(2) For indoor facilities no odor or smoke shall be emitted that is detectable at or beyond the walls of the facility, in such a concentration or of such duration as to cause a public nuisance, or threaten health or safety, or to unreasonably infringe upon the use and enjoyment of neighboring use. The applicant shall install an exhaust system that is designed and constructed to capture sources of contaminants to prevent spreading of contaminants or odors to other occupied parts of the building or surrounding area. The system must be designed by a licensed Washington State professional engineer.

(3) Any lights used to illuminate the facility shall be so arranged as to direct the light away from the adjoining property and the public road.

(4) No traffic shall be generated by such a facility in greater volume than would normally be expected in the applicable zoning district and appropriate for the road classification which serves the property.

(5) Any need for parking generated by the conduct of such a facility shall meet the off-street parking requirements as specified in this title. At least one additional space shall be provided for each nonresident on-site employee. (Ord. 2015-006 Exh. A, 2015).

20.80.700 Replacement dwellings.

In all districts where a single-family residence is a primary permitted use, a building permit may be issued for the construction of a replacement dwelling on the same lot; provided, that the owner agrees by filing a statement with the building official that the old dwelling will be demolished, removed or converted to another permitted use upon completion of the new dwelling. (Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.80.720 Variances to lot area and width requirements for new subdivisions.

Minimum building site area and width requirements may be varied in the approval of new subdivisions and short subdivisions by means established in the Whatcom County Subdivision Ordinance; provided, that the gross density of the subdivision shall not exceed that of the applicable zone district; and provided, that no site shall be allowed to differ more than 10 percent in area or in average width from the standard requirement. Such variation in lot size shall not include land of 20 percent or greater slopes, tidelands and water areas and thus shall not be included in calculating the gross density of a site for purposes of determining the number of parcels eligible for the 10 percent lot area or width reduction allowed by this section. (Ord. 2001-063 § 1, 2001; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.80.730 Land clearing.

(Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.731 Purpose.

The purpose of this section is to avoid or minimize impacts of clearing activity to adjacent and downstream public or private property and to protect receiving water bodies. The regulations contained in this section implement this goal by providing a reasonable standard for clearing land in Whatcom County. It is also the purpose of this section to establish a county review process for larger clearing projects to ensure these regulations are met. It is also the purpose of this section to provide procedures and review criteria for clearing activity in connection with conversion option harvest plans and implementing, exempting and removing development moratoria. (Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.732 Applicability.

All clearing activities including clearing of forest land, Class IV-General forest practices applications, nonconversion forest practice applications with approved conversion option harvest plans (COHPs), and associated development moratoria shall be subject to the provisions of the land clearing section unless specifically exempted in WCC 20.80.733. No clearing activity approval shall be issued by the county prior to meeting the requirements set forth in the Whatcom County Development Standards and only when in compliance with federal, state and local regulations, including, but not limited to, the Critical Areas Ordinance, the Whatcom County SEPA Ordinance, Washington State Forest Practices pursuant to WAC Title 222, and the Shoreline Management Program. Administrative provisions and technical standards for implementing these regulations shall be contained in the Whatcom County Development Standards, Chapter 3, Land Clearing. (Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.733 Exemptions.

Any clearing activity that meets the following criteria shall be exempt from the clearing requirements of this chapter:

(1) The proposed activity does not involve the conversion of forest land, is outside critical areas and associated buffers, and is exclusively related to agriculture as defined in this title; or

(2) The proposed activity consists of nonconversion forest practices, other than Class IV-General forest practices on platted land, and other than those with an approved COHP regulated under Chapter 76.09 RCW; or

(3) The proposed activity is surface mining regulated under Chapter 78.44 RCW. (Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.734 General review thresholds.

County review and approval shall be required prior to a clearing activity when any of the following land clearing thresholds have been reached. If the clearing activity does not meet the threshold criteria, county review is not required. However, the owner is still subject to, and must comply with, the minimum requirements established in this chapter and in the Whatcom County Development Standards. Review thresholds and additional requirements for water resource special management areas are located in WCC 20.80.735.

(1) Five Thousand Square Foot Threshold on 30 Percent Slopes. The county shall review all proposed clearing activities when a cumulative area of 5,000 square feet or greater of clearing activity is proposed to take place on slopes 30 percent or greater in gradient.

(2) One-Acre Threshold in Urban Residential, Commercial, Rural Residential Zoning Districts and Rural and Industrial Zoning Districts within the NPDES Phase II Area Boundary. The county shall review all proposed clearing activities which are one acre or greater, including projects less than one acre that are part of a larger common plan of the development, in the following zoning districts where the slope is less than 30 percent in gradient:

• Urban Residential.

• Commercial.

• Rural Residential.

• Rural within the NPDES Phase II area boundaries, as delineated at the time that the county determines that the development application is complete.

• Industrial within the NPDES Phase II area boundaries, as delineated at the time that the county determines that the development application is complete.

(3) Two-Acre Threshold in Rural Zoning Districts outside NPDES Phase II Area Boundaries. The county shall review all proposed clearing activities which are two acres or greater when the activities are proposed to take place in Rural Zoning Districts outside NPDES Phase II area boundaries and the slope is less than 30 percent in gradient.

(4) Critical Areas and Associated Areas. The county shall review all clearing activities within a critical area or critical area buffer, and all clearing activity greater than 500 square feet within 200 feet of a waterbody regulated under WCC Title 23, or within 200 feet of a wetland, habitat conservation area (HCA), frequently flooded area, or geological hazard regulated under WCC Title 16.

(5) Conversion from Forest Use. The county shall review all clearing activities that meet the definition of a conversion from a forest use to another land use pursuant to WCC 20.97.085. (Ord. 2010-003 Exh. A, 2010; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.735 Water resource special management areas.

The purpose of a water resource special management area is to establish a more stringent standard for clearing activity in highly valued water resource areas, environmentally sensitive areas, or areas where natural conditions are so unstable that clearing activity in the areas can result in hazardous conditions. Implementation of best management practices, including phased clearing, tree retention and seasonal clearing limitations, is intended to limit the amount of exposed soils on site that are susceptible to erosion at any one time, thereby improving site stability during development and reducing potential for transport of dissolved pollutants and sediments off site. Preservation of existing trees on site also reduces the quantity and maintains the quality of stormwater leaving a site during and after development activities by encouraging interception, infiltration and evapotranspiration of rainfall and surface runoff.

Whatcom County shall establish the following geographic areas as water resource special management areas:

• Drayton Harbor watershed;

• Lake Padden watershed;

• Lake Samish watershed; and

• Birch Bay watershed.

(1) Water Resource Special Management Area Review Thresholds. County review and approval shall be required for clearing activities which exceed the following thresholds. If the clearing activity does not meet the threshold criteria, county review is not required. However, the owner is still subject to, and must comply with, the minimum requirements established in this chapter and in the Whatcom County Development Standards.

(a) Lake Samish and Lake Padden Watersheds. County review and approval shall be required for all clearing activities associated with a fill and grade permit, building permit or other development proposal. Clearing activities which are not associated with a development permit shall require county review if they are:

(i) Five thousand square feet or greater during the dry season, June 1st through September 30th; or

(ii) Five hundred square feet or greater during the wet season, October 1st through May 31st.

(2) Within water resource special management areas, clearing activity must conform to the following conditions:

(a) Temporary erosion and sediment control shall be installed and inspected prior to any clearing activity. The technical administrator shall conduct periodic inspections to ensure the integrity of temporary erosion and sediment controls. Temporary erosion and sediment control measures include, but are not limited to, installation of silt fencing, installation of check dams, covering of excavation piles, and mulching of exposed soils, as specified in the Whatcom County Development Standards.

(b) Phased Clearing. Construction activities and clearing activities shall be phased to limit the amount of exposed soil that occurs at any one time, if determined to be appropriate by the technical administrator, based on site characteristics or constraints including, but not limited to, slopes, proximity to shorelines and wetlands. A phased clearing plan may be required. A phased clearing plan, if required, shall be submitted for review and approval by the technical administrator prior to any clearing activity and shall contain a detailed construction schedule or timeline.

(c) Soil Stabilization. All disturbed areas shall be provided with soil stabilization within two days of the time of disturbance. The technical administrator may approve an exemption to this requirement when a tree canopy area retention plan includes a soil stabilization plan. This plan component must specifically detail erosion and sediment control and stormwater runoff measures that provide runoff control equal to or greater than the protection provided by the standard two-day soil stabilization requirements of this section.

(d) Seasonal Clearing Activity Limitations. In the Lake Samish and Lake Padden watersheds, clearing activity, as defined in WCC 20.97.054, that will result in exposed soils exceeding 500 square feet shall not be permitted from October 1st through May 31st; provided, that:

(i) In addition to the clearing activities exempted under WCC 20.80.733, the zoning administrator may approve an exemption to this requirement for the following activities:

(A) Routine maintenance and repair of erosion and sediment control measures;

(B) Activities located at or waterward of the ordinary high water mark subject to state, federal, and/or local (per Chapter 16.16 WCC and/or WCC Title 23) conditions of approval requiring commencement of clearing activity during the wet season, as defined in subsection (1)(a)(ii) of this section, for purposes of minimizing surface water disturbance and site inundation by high water or wave action;

(C) Activities necessary to address an emergency that presents an unanticipated and imminent threat to public health, safety or the environment that requires immediate action within a time too short to allow full compliance with this section. Upon abatement of the emergency situation, the clearing activity shall be reviewed for consistency with this chapter and may be subject to additional permit requirements; provided, that the applicant shall make a reasonable attempt to contact the zoning administrator prior to the activity. When prior notice is not feasible, notification of the action shall be submitted to the zoning administrator as soon as the emergency is addressed and no later than two business days following such action. Emergency construction does not include development of new permanent protective structures where none previously existed.

(ii) To ensure compliance with subsection (2)(e) of this section, Whatcom County planning and development services shall not issue development permits requiring more than 500 square feet of land disturbance located within the Lake Samish or Lake Padden watersheds within two weeks prior to the watershed seasonal closure on October 1st.

(iii) Soil disturbance associated with an exempt clearing activity shall be minimized to the maximum extent practicable. The zoning administrator shall have the authority to condition an exempt activity to ensure that temporary erosion and sediment control measures will be implemented.

(iv) An exemption from the seasonal land clearing requirements of this section does not grant authorization for any work to be done in a manner that does not comply with other provisions of this chapter or other applicable development regulations.

(e) One Hundred Fifty Percent Violation Fines. When a violation occurs in an area designated as a water resource special management area, the total fine assessment shall be increased to 150 percent of the standard penalty as provided for in Chapter 20.94 WCC, Enforcement and Penalties. (Ord. 2016-045 § 1 Att. A, 2016; Ord. 2013-043 § 1 Exh. B, 2013; Ord. 2010-006 Exh. A, 2010; Ord. 2010-001 Exh. A, 2010; 2009-056 Exh. A, 2009; Ord. 2009-009 Exh. B, 2009; Ord. 2005-074 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2005-061 Exh. A, 2005; Ord. 2005-032 Exh. A, 2005; Ord. 2005-030 § 1 Exh. A, 2005; Ord. 2004-051 Exh. A, 2004; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-053, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.736 Permit approval and inspection process.

If county review and approval is required to clear land, the county shall establish conditions for approval through one of the following permits:

(1) Project Permit. When clearing activity is proposed as a part of a development proposal, the submittal requirements contained in the Whatcom County Development Standards, including temporary and permanent erosion control measures, must be submitted by the permit applicant and approved by the county as part of a project permit application prior to any clearing activity. Under this condition, a separate clearing permit shall not be required. Erosion control inspections shall be required as a condition of the building permit at the time of footing inspection sign off. If the site is subject to WCC 20.80.735, the provisions of WCC 20.80.735(2)(a) shall apply.

(2) Clearing Permit. A clearing permit shall be required when a clearing activity meets the established threshold(s) and is the only activity taking place and when no other project permit is required by the county for the proposal. Under this condition, submittal requirements contained in the Whatcom County Development Standards, Chapter 3, must be submitted with the clearing permit application. Clearing activities which qualify as conversions require additional review pursuant to subsections (3)(a) through (c) of this section.

(3) Forest Conversion Land Clearing Permit.

(a) A forest conversion land clearing permit is required by Whatcom County when a conversion as defined by WCC 20.97.085 is desired. This permit in no way exempts the applicant from any DNR permit requirements.

(b) All applications shall comply with the requirements of Whatcom County Development Standards, Chapter 3 – Land Clearing, Section 304 – Review and Approval Requirements (E)(1) through (3), Submittal Requirements, and DNR Forest Practice Rules.

(c) A signed memorandum of agreement shall be submitted by the landowner which shall state if development activity is planned to take place within 36 months of the date of application. The information contained in the application will provide the administrator with additional basis for conditioning the clearing activity or determining if harvesting of the site would be more appropriate after preliminary or final development approval.

(i) If the applicant declares that no development activity is anticipated within 36 months of the date of application, in addition to all other conditions as included in Whatcom County Development Standards, Chapter 3 – Land Clearing, Section 304 – Review and Approval Requirements (E)(1) through (3), and DNR Forest Practice Rules, the following conditions will apply:

(A) Replanting according to Chapter 222-34 WAC or stabilization of the site is required within the first growing season;

(B) No site grubbing will be allowed other than minimal grubbing to accommodate any temporary roads or landings required for timber harvest;

(C) No development permits will be issued for a period of 18 months from the date of the clearing application other than those for one approved single-family residence per lot of record. (Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.737 Land clearing requirements.

(1) Site Containment. Significant amounts of erosion, sediment, and other impacts resulting from any clearing activity shall be contained on the site and may require temporary erosion/sedimentation control measures before, during, and immediately following clearing. All clearing activity requiring an approval must comply with the requirements of this chapter and those of the Whatcom County Development Standards, Chapter 3.

(2) Hazards. Clearing activities shall not result in off-site physical damage nor pose a danger or hazard to life or property on- or off-site.

(3) Site-Specific Requirements. Additional site-specific requirements may be established after a site visit by the county. These requirements shall be based on specific site conditions and are limited to timing limitations, additional temporary erosion and sedimentation control, and/or the mitigation of hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions that pose a physical or environmental threat on- or off-site.

(4) Slash Removal in Urban Zoning Districts. In urban zoning districts slash shall be either removed from the site, chipped and spread across the site within one year of project completion, or burned in compliance with the requirements of the Northwest Air Pollution Authority. Note: Burning of slash within urban growth areas may be subject to the provisions of RCW 70.94.743.

(5) Maintaining Established Buffers. Buffers as identified in the clearing permit, WCC 20.80.736(1) or (2) or 20.80.739, shall be left undisturbed unless express permission for clearing activity or tree removal is provided by the county and the DNR where an application is required by the DNR. When approved by the county and/or the DNR, tree removal from buffers should be kept to a minimum. Unauthorized tree removal from established buffers will result in an assessed penalty at a rate of twice the value of the merchantable timber. In the event of a dispute between the landowner and the county over the established value, an assessment will be made by a professional forester or arborist whose selection will be made by mutual agreement between the county and the landowner. The fee for the services of the professional forester or arborist shall be paid by the landowner or responsible party.

(6) A clearing activity will be considered to be complete once the site has been revegetated and stabilized. (Ord. 2005-079 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.738 Development moratoria – Implementation, removal, and exceptions.

(1) Development Moratorium. The purpose of this section is to provide the criteria for imposing a development moratorium. It also provides standards for the hearing examiner to remove a six-year development moratorium, and for the director of the planning and development services department to authorize the construction of one single-family dwelling unit on a site that is subject to a six-year development moratorium.

(a) Actions That Result in a Development Moratorium. The following actions shall result in a six-year development moratorium being imposed by the director of the planning and development services department or his/her designee:

(i) Conversion of any land covered by a DNR forest practices application or notification where a conversion is not declared;

(ii) Any property that has been harvested under a DNR forest practice application or notification without an associated COHP approval;

(iii) Timber harvesting on a parcel or parcels without a forest practices application or notification;

(iv) The violation of a COHP or a county forest conversion land clearing permit where the following situations exist:

(A) The violation results in moderate on- or off-site impacts that require mitigation, but are not reasonably addressed by the violator within the time allotted by the technical administrator; or

(B) The violation results in severe on- or off-site impacts of such magnitude or type that the technical administrator determines that professional assistance is necessary to mitigate the impacts.

(b) Consequences of a Development Moratorium.

(i) Whatcom County shall suspend review of any application for development of land which is, or becomes, subject to a six-year development moratorium. The suspension of application review does not constitute a stay of performance timelines as included in any ordinances or permit conditions associated with the site that is subject to a six-year moratorium.

(ii) Whatcom County shall not accept applications for any development of land which is subject to a six-year moratorium.

(iii) A development moratorium imposed by Whatcom County shall extend to the harvest area including the roads indicated in the forest conversion or forest practices application or COHP. If no forest practices permit or COHP was issued, the moratorium shall apply to the entire parcel.

(iv) Prior to any development permit application, the property owner shall be required to submit a forest conversion land clearing permit application on land that was cleared without a forest practices application or notification, without an approved COHP, or in violation of a DNR-issued forest practices permit.

(v) Whatcom County shall notify the appropriate state agency if the county becomes aware of forest practices that have been initiated on a parcel without an approved forest practices application or notification.

(c) Effective Date of Moratorium.

(i) The six-year development moratorium shall be imposed from the effective date of the applicable forest practices application; or

(ii) If forest practices occur on a site without the appropriate permit, a six-year development moratorium shall be imposed from the date the unpermitted forest practices were documented by Whatcom County or the DNR; or

(iii) If a condition of a COHP approval is substantively violated, in the opinion of the technical administrator, a six-year development moratorium shall be imposed from the date the violation was documented by the county.

(2) Request for Removal of Development Moratorium. A development moratorium may be considered for removal by the hearing examiner when all of the following requirements are met:

(a) Public Hearing Required.

(i) The county shall set a date for public hearing before the examiner pursuant to WCC 2.33.060 and 2.33.070 after all the requests for additional information or plan corrections have been satisfied and the necessary components have been received as required for a complete application.

(ii) The public hearing shall follow the procedures set forth in Chapter 20.92 WCC.

(b) Review Criteria. The examiner shall consider the removal of a development moratorium when the following criteria are met:

(i) The forest practices conducted on the site comply with requirements of Chapter 222-24 WAC, Road Construction and Maintenance, Chapter 222-30 WAC, Timber Harvesting, and any applicable county codes or regulations. When more than one rule, regulation, or code can be applied to a harvest, then the more stringent requirements shall be adhered to.

(ii) Any required mitigation plan has been completed or the performance thereof has been adequately bonded.

(iii) Any bonding required as part of a mitigation requirement has been established to county satisfaction.

(iv) The site, when required by WCC 20.80.736(3)(c)(i)(A) or 20.80.739, shall have been reforested in accordance with the requirements set forth in Chapter 222-34 WAC.

(v) Payment has been made of all other fees, penalties, liens, or taxes owed to the county which have been assigned to the subject parcel including reimbursement of any county expenses incurred relating to enforcement and/or preparation for the waiver hearing.

(vi) All permit conditions have been addressed.

(vii) Neither the applicant nor any person who acted in privity with the applicant:

(A) Intended to circumvent any requirement of this section or the Forest Practice Act or regulations by taking the actions for which the moratorium was imposed; or

(B) Has engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of any applicable regulations.

(c) Approval.

(i) The hearing examiner shall review all requests for the removal of a development moratorium, any comments received, and applicable county regulations or policies and may inspect the property prior to rendering a decision.

(ii) The hearing examiner may approve an application for a request to remove a development moratorium, approve the application with conditions, require modifications of the proposal to comply with specified requirements of local conditions, or deny the application if it fails to comply with requirements of this section.

(d) Required Written Findings and Determinations. Removal of a development moratorium may be approved by the examiner if the following findings can be made regarding the proposal and are supported by the record:

(i) The removal of the six-year development moratorium will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, and general welfare.

(ii) The removal of the six-year development moratorium will not be injurious to the property or improvements adjacent to and in the vicinity of the proposal.

(iii) The removal of the six-year development moratorium will not result in significant adverse environmental impacts.

(iv) The removal of the six-year development moratorium is consistent with the review criteria established in subsections (2)(b)(i) through (vii) of this section.

(v) The removal of the six-year development moratorium is consistent and compatible with the goals, objectives, and policies of the Comprehensive Plan, appropriate community plans or subarea plans, and the provisions of this section.

(3) Request for Single-Family Dwelling Exception. The director of the planning and development services department may administratively grant an exception to the mandatory six-year development moratorium to allow the construction of one single-family dwelling unit and associated accessory structures pursuant to the following standards:

(a) General Requirements.

(i) The area that is permitted to be developed pursuant to this administrative exception shall not exceed one acre in size unless site and/or well and septic constraints require a larger area, in which case the area developed is not to exceed two acres. Access roads shall not be included in the total area permitted to be developed.

(ii) A right-to-forestry disclosure statement as provided for in WCC 14.04.030(B) will be signed by the owner and subsequent purchasers, and recorded as per WCC 14.04.030(A)(1). This disclosure statement is not required in urban growth areas (UGAs) unless the forest practice occurs on a parcel adjacent to lands designated as forest lands of long-term commercial significance under Chapter 36.70A RCW.

(iii) Upon approval of a single-family dwelling unit exception, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) shall be recorded with the Whatcom County auditor by the landowner which includes a site plan depicting the area of the parcel to be dedicated for the single-family dwelling, yard area, permitted accessory structures, and access road. The MOA shall identify the action to be taken by the landowner to correct any violations of county ordinances or regulations.

(iv) The development moratorium shall remain in effect for the remainder of the site.

(b) Review Criteria. One single-family dwelling, permitted accessory structures, lawns and landscaped area, and access road may be constructed together with site development activities necessary to construct the dwelling on land subject to a development moratorium; provided, that:

(i) The construction of the single-family dwelling, lawn and landscaping area, accessory structures, and access road are in compliance with all applicable county regulations;

(ii) The landowner corrects any violations of critical area and resource land requirements if any have occurred on the parcel;

(iii) Reforestation of the site has occurred, if required, pursuant to Chapter 222-34 WAC.

(c) Required Written Findings and Determinations. A single-family dwelling unit exception may be approved by the director on a site that is subject to a six-year development moratorium only if all of the following findings can be made regarding the proposal and are supported by the record:

(i) The single-family exception to the six-year development moratorium will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, and general welfare.

(ii) The single-family exception to the six-year development moratorium will not be injurious to the property or improvements adjacent to and in the vicinity of the proposal.

(iii) The single-family exception to the six-year development moratorium will not result in significant adverse environmental impacts.

(iv) The granting of the single-family exception to the six-year development moratorium is consistent with the review criteria in subsection (3)(b) of this section.

(v) The single-family exception to the six-year development moratorium is consistent and compatible with the goals, objectives, and policies of the Comprehensive Plan, appropriate community plan or subarea plan, and the provisions of this section.

(d) Six-year moratoriums will be administratively removed by the director of the planning and development services department or his/her designee when it is determined that the moratorium has been attached to incorrect parcel numbers and where no activity on the incorrect parcel would warrant a moratorium, or when forest practice applications or notifications are withdrawn prior to any logging or clearing activities. (Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.739 Conversion option harvest plan (COHP).

(1) A conversion option harvest plan shall conform to the submission requirements of the Department of Natural Resources.

(2) A conversion option harvest plan must be reviewed and approved by the county prior to submittal to the Department of Natural Resources in order for a moratorium waiver on development to be granted by the county.

(3) A fee shall be established in accordance with the Whatcom County unified fee schedule for the review of a conversion option harvest plan.

(4) The conversion option harvest plan shall remain in effect until a project permit has been approved by the county. (Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.740 Posting authorization.

Land clearing authorization must be posted by the permit applicant and clearly visible at the access to the site. (Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.741 Assurance of performance.

The county may require financial assurance for the proper performance and for the repair of site conditions; including but not limited to temporary erosion and sedimentation control facilities, vegetation restoration, and damage repair. During the defined wet season, a financial assurance of performance shall be required. (Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.742 Penalties.

Violation of these requirements is punishable pursuant to WCC 20.94.030. (Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.743 Review fees.

Review fees will be assessed as established by the Whatcom County unified fee schedule. (Ord. 2003-049 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2003-032 Exh. A, 2003; Ord. 2002-075, 2002; Ord. 2002-034, 2002).

20.80.800 Livestock regulations.

20.80.801 Purpose.

The purpose of these livestock regulations is to establish standards for the number of animal units on relatively small acreage parcels where compatibility may become an issue. The restrictions imposed by these regulations shall only apply to parcels of less than 10 acres in size in the Urban Residential, Residential Rural, Rural Residential-Island, Rural or Forestry Districts when the parcel is located adjacent to a residential use and is not part of a larger agricultural operation on contiguous property. (Ord. 96-056 Att. A § S11, 1996; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987; Ord. 85-100, 1985; Ord. 82-58, 1982).

20.80.805 Animal units.

The number of animal units which are permissible in those zone districts that refer to this section shall be consistent with the following standards:

(1) Animal units shall be computed as set forth in WCC 20.97.015; provided, that ponies and horses under one year, calves under six months, and sheep, goats and pigs under three months shall not be included when computing animal units.

(2) Lots which have an area of less than one-half acre may not keep an animal unit.

(3) Lots with an area of one-half acre or more and less than or equal to one acre may keep one animal unit.

(4) Lots exceeding one acre in size may increase the number of animals at the rate of one animal unit per one-half acre of land area in excess of one acre.

(5) Bulls and stallions over six months of age shall be prohibited, and the keeping of mink, foxes or other nondomestic fur-bearing animals shall be prohibited.

(6) All animal units shall be confined to the building lot or parcel unless otherwise provided. (Ord. 96-056 Att. A § S11, 1996; Ord. 87-12, 1987; Ord. 87-11, 1987).

20.80.900 Surface mining registration/ inspection procedures.

Owners of all new and ongoing surface mining operations are required to submit completed registration forms with fee to the county on an annual basis.

Forms shall be submitted to the county by no later than February 9th of each year. Required information shall include, but is not limited to: (1) location and ownership of parcel, (2) current permit status of mining activity on parcel, and (3) material type(s) and quantities to be extracted (volume estimates will be confidential). (Ord. 92-079, 1992).

20.80.950 Mobile home and recreational vehicle park standards.

All mobile home and recreational vehicle parks shall meet the following standards:

(1) Where not specified by the applicable zoning district, mobile home parks shall have:

(a) A maximum density of seven lease spaces per acre when public water and sewer are provided;

(b) A maximum density of three lease spaces per acre when public water and sewer are not provided;

(c) A minimum parcel size of two acres.

(2) Where not specified by the applicable zoning district, recreational vehicle parks shall have:

(a) A maximum density of 15 lease spaces per acre when public water and sewer are provided;

(b) A maximum density of seven lease spaces per acre when public water and sewer are not provided;

(c) A minimum parcel size of two acres.

(3) Mobile home parks shall provide storage area for boats, recreational vehicles and other large items. Recreational vehicle parks may provide such storage areas. Said storage areas shall be screened consistent with these standards.

(4) Within a mobile home park, no mobile home, other major structure, or outdoor storage shall be located closer than 20 feet to the perimeter of the site.

(5) Along the edges of mobile home parks, walls or vegetative screening shall be provided where needed to protect residents from undesirable views, lighting, noise or other off-site influences, or to protect occupants of adjoining property from potentially adverse influences within the mobile home park. In particular, extensive off-street parking areas and service areas for loading and unloading other than passenger vehicles, and for storage and collection of trash and garbage, shall be screened.

(6) A 30-foot landscaped buffer area or screening composed of suitable native vegetation shall be placed around all common storage areas and at all perimeters of any recreational vehicle park. The purpose of said buffer is to protect on a year-round basis the adjacent property or roadways from unsightliness, visual distraction and/or noise impacts. The buffer area may be reduced where it can be demonstrated that alternative screening can adequately accomplish the purposes stated in this subsection. Perimeter buffers shall be supplemented by a fence or other device where trespass is a potential problem. No structures, development or other activities shall occur within any buffer areas; provided, that trails may be located within those buffer areas which are at least 50 feet in width.

(7) There shall be landscaping developed consistent with WCC 20.80.300 within open areas of the mobile home park and recreational vehicle parks not otherwise used for park purposes. Such open areas and landscaping shall be continually and properly maintained.

(8) Mobile homes and recreational vehicle parks shall keep 40 percent of the site free of buildings, structures, parking areas and other impervious surfaces.

(9) An organization or individual with proper funding to maintain common facilities and operate the parks shall be provided.

(10) On-site recreational amenities with at least one substantial facility serving the users of a park or identified area. Such substantial facilities may include tennis courts, children’s play areas with equipment, or a swimming pool. The type and size of facility shall be appropriate to the type and amount of clientele being served.

(11) Maximum length of stay in recreational vehicle parks shall not exceed 180 days for any one-year time period.

(12) Interior roads within mobile home and recreational vehicle parks shall be private, unless the county engineer determines that the development of public roads is necessary.

(13) For each mobile home space there shall be provided and maintained at least two parking spaces conforming with zoning ordinance requirements. In addition to occupant parking, guest and service parking shall be provided within the boundaries of the park at a ratio of one parking space for each two mobile home spaces.

(14) There shall be a minimum of 10 feet of separation maintained between all mobile homes on the site. Accessory structures may be located no closer than 10 feet to any mobile home or five feet to other accessory structures.

(15) Each rental space shall be numbered on the site plan and the number shall be prominently displayed on the site. (Ord. 99-045 § 1, 1999).

20.80.970 Home occupation.

Home occupations shall be subject to all the following requirements, which shall be regarded as cumulative regardless of the number of home occupations on the site:

(1) No more than two people at one time, other than household members residing on the premises, shall be engaged in such occupations.

(2) The use of the property for home occupations shall be clearly accessory to its use for residential purposes.

(3) In all zones except EI, UR, URM, and URMX, home occupations shall not exceed a total of 1,250 square feet of new building floor area, whether located in the dwelling, accessory structure(s) or combination thereof. There is no square footage limit inside accessory structures that existed on August 6, 2010; however, there shall not be new square footage in addition to existing square footage that would bring the total to greater than 1,250 square feet. In the EI, UR, URM, and URMX zones, home occupations shall not exceed a total of 500 square feet of building floor area, whether located in the dwelling, accessory structure(s) or combination thereof.

(4) There shall be no change in the outside appearance of the building or premises or other visible evidence of a home occupation inconsistent with the residential character of the dwelling or neighborhood, other than one sign, not exceeding eight square feet in area, nonilluminated and mounted on the property.

(5) No traffic shall be generated by such home occupations in greater volume than would normally be expected in the applicable zoning district and is appropriate for the road classification which serves the property.

(6) Home occupations may use or store vehicles, in accordance with the following:

(a) The total number of vehicles used in connection with the home occupations shall be permitted as follows:

(i) On a lot of record less than two acres, two commercial vehicles, each of which shall not exceed 105,500 pounds gross vehicle weight;

(ii) On a lot of record two acres or greater, one commercial vehicle shall be allowed for each acre, up to 10 vehicles, regardless of weight.

(b) The vehicles shall not be stored within any required setback areas of the lot or adjacent roadways and shall be adequately screened from adjacent neighboring residences or roadways.

(7) Any need for parking generated by the conduct of such home occupations shall comply with the off-street parking requirements as specified in this title. In addition, parking shall be provided for nonresident employees.

(8) No equipment, process, or material shall be used in such home occupations which creates noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors or electrical interference beyond the property line, or outside the building, in sufficient amounts and of such characteristics and duration as is likely to be injurious or cause damage to human health, plant or animal life, or property, or impacts heavier or different than would be expected from a residential property.

(9) Sales are limited to merchandise manufactured or repaired on the premises and/or items accessory to a service provided to patrons who receive services (such as hair care products for a beauty salon), telephone, mail order, catalog, e-commerce sales, or other electronic commerce sales. In no case shall home occupations consist of only on-site retail sales. Fees rendered for services for the sole use or purpose of providing merchandise or equipment (such as tanning beds, copy machines, or similar products) shall be prohibited.

(10) The maximum nameplate horsepower rating of the electrical motors of any single piece of machinery operating in the home occupations shall be five horsepower. The electrical service for home occupations shall not exceed 200 amps.

(11) The following activities, which include but are not limited to mortuaries, funeral homes, automobile, truck and heavy equipment repair and auto body work or auto body painting, are prohibited as home occupations.

(12) Customers/clients are prohibited on the premises prior to 7:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. unless an exception is specifically granted by the administrator. (Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. D), 2016).

20.80.980 Cottage industry.

Cottage industry uses shall be subject to all the following criteria:

(1) The size and scale of the operation is in keeping with the surrounding area and off-site impacts are comparable in intensity to those generated by uses allowed in the zone.

(2) Building size, lot coverage and number of employees shall be consistent with the standards of each district.

(3) The use of the dwelling unit or accessory structure for the cottage industry shall be clearly incidental and subordinate to its use for residential purposes and the purpose of the applicable zoning district.

(4) There shall be no change in the outside appearance of the building or premises inconsistent with the residential character of the dwelling or use of the surrounding zoning district, other than signage consistent with the zoning regulations of the applicable district.

(5) No traffic shall be generated by such cottage industry in greater volume than would normally be expected in the applicable zoning district and appropriate for the road classification which serves the property.

(6) Any need for parking generated by the conduct of such cottage industry shall meet the off-street parking requirements as specified in this title. At least one additional space shall be provided for each nonresident on-site employee.

(7) No equipment, process, or materials shall be used in such cottage industry which creates noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors or electrical interference off the lot in sufficient amounts and of such characteristics and duration as is likely to be injurious or cause damage to human health, plant or animal life, or property, or which unreasonably interferes with enjoyment of life and property.

(8) Sales in connection with the activity are limited to merchandise manufactured or repaired on the premises, items accessory to a service (such as hair care products for a beauty salon), catalog or e-commerce sales or other products related to or incidental to the primary business.

(9) Customers/clients are prohibited on the premises prior to 7:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. unless an exception is specifically granted by the administrator.

(10) The portion of the structure housing the cottage industry shall comply with life/safety regulations.

(11) Cottage industries should be limited to the manufacture and assembly of finished products that shall not include the primary manufacture of petroleum products, rubber, plastics, chemicals, asbestos products or primary metal industries. Such uses shall be sufficiently enclosed to mitigate potential impacts. (Ord. 2016-011 § 1 (Exh. D), 2016).